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UNITED states: 







185 1. 

Entered according to the Act of Congress, in the year 1848, by 


in the Clerk's Office of the District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. 


No. 9 George Strekt, PHiLa.DELPHiA. 

The production of the work now offered to the public, is 
the result of a want which has been long and sensibly felt. 
Although there are several collections of lives of American 
officers, there is none which comes down to a very recent 
period, and none which contains a large number of lives. 
The occurrence of the war with Mexico has awakened a 
lively curiosity respecting the personal history of the officers 
who have distinguished themselves of late ; and this has led 
to a fresh desire for general information respecting the mili- 
tary history of the country. To meet this desire the present 
work has been written. 

Every work of this class must necessarily be chiefly a 
compilation. In preparing these biographies I have had 
recourse to the collections of Wilson and Rooers, and to 
several anonymous works of the same class, published soon 
after the revolution. Many of the lives of the revolutionary 
officers, as well as of those who served in the last war with 
England, and the present war with Mexico, have been com- 
posed from materials furnished by their relatives, verified by 
a great mass of official documents in my o^vn possession. 

For several daguerreotypes of officers, I am under obliga- 
tions to the kindness of Messrs. Van Loan of Washington, 


and Root, and Simons, of Philadelphia. I am also indebted 
to Mr. Peale, the gentlemanly proprietor of the Philadelphia 
Museum, for his courteous permission to copy portraits from 
his extensive and valuable collection. To the Trustees of 
the,Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, also, my thanks are due 
for permission to copy Colonel Trumbull's splendid pictures 
of the battles of Princeton and Trenton, and the portraits of 
Colonel Humphreys and Colonel Wadsworth. The attention 
paid by Mr. Croome to the artistical embellishment of the 
work deserves my cordial acknowledgment. The landmarks 
of history and biography left by his fertile pencil will remain 
a perpetual monument to his praise. 





































PHiiip scuuri-ER,, 350 































































JOHN E. WOOL, 852 















[This list contains only the principal embellishments exclusive of portraits. The portrait 
of each officer, with a very few exceptions, is given on the page indicated in the preceding 
table of contents in connection with the commencement of his biography.] 













































































HAVANA, 425 






















































































T the head of the military men of his country we must 
undoubtedly place the illustrious George Washington, 
first in war as well as in peace, and in the hearts 
of his countrymen. Born in Westmoreland county, 
Virginia, on the 22d day of February, (N. S.) 1732 ; he was deprived 
of the parental care of his father when still a child, and his educa- 
tion consequently devolved upon the other parent. She was sufficient 
for the task ; and to the lessons of religion, the spotless example, 
and the unceasing watchfulness of his mother, w^e are in a great 
measure indebted for many of the finest traits in the character of 
our Washington. 

Little is known of his early life. He was sent to school when 
young, and acquired a common school education, with considerable 
knowledge of the mathematics. When about sixteen, he was em- 
ployed as surveyor, and performed valuable service for the colony, 
in clearing roads, and preparing accurate maps of settlements. This 



service educated his eye for the duties of an engineer, and hardened 
his nerves for the life of a soldier. 

The difficulties between France and England, which preceded the 
war of 1754, imbued the mind of Washington with a desire of enter- 
ing a service where he might give full scope to all his energy. A 
midshipman's commission was obtained for him by his friends, and 
he was on the verge of embarking, when the sorrowing look, and 
affectionate appeal of his mother, so affected him, that he withdrew 
his baggage from the ship, and resumed his former mode of life. 
Slight as was this incident in itself, it was fraught with consequences 
of the greatest importance to his country. 

The movements of the French in America soon became so alarm- 
ing, as to demand the serious attention of government. Their plan 
was to connect Canada with Louisiana, by a chain of posts extend- 
ing from the Great Lakes along the Ohio, and down the Mississippi, 
thus enclosing the colonies so completely as to leave them entirely 
in the power of France and her Indian allies. Virginia prepared for 
a terrible contest ; the outer settlements were broken up, the 
borderers retired into the interior, and alarm and excitement per- 
vaded all classes. The savages had already begun their atrocities ; 
and amid the gloom of night, the burning cottage and the wailings 
of murdered women, heard in the distance, pointed fearfully to the 
desolation still to come. 

In 1750, young Washington received the appointment of adjutant- 
general of the province, with the rank of major. This office he 
filled with such distinguished ability, that two years after, when 
Governor Dinwiddle wished to send a message through the wilderness 
to the French commander, he accepted the services of Washington, 
although he was then but about twenty-one years old. This under- 
taking was one of the greatest difficulty. The major was twice 
fired at by a concealed foe, and was once on the point of drowning 
in crossing a river upon a raft. He passed through wilds and unin- 
habitable forests, crossed rapid torrents, swamps and morasses, and 
was for days exposed to cold, privation, and the rifles of Indians, 
without seeing a single human being except his guide. 

On his arrival at the French fort, he was introduced to the com- 
mander, a knight of the mihtary order of St. Louis, and named 
Legardeur St. Pierre, whom Washington describes in his journal as 
an elderly gentleman, having much the air of a soldier. His reply 
to Governor Dinwiddle's order, that he should evacuate.the disputed 
territory, was quite in character. He remarked, that as a soldier it 
was his duty to obey the commands of his superior, the governor of 
Canada, and that he should not retire without an order from him. 



WasliiQgton's journey to the French. Fort. 

After receiving this answer, Washington was delayed several days 
before he could commence his journey homeward. The difficulties 
which he encountered in this perilous undertaking are best described 
in his ovni journal, published after his return. In this remarkable 
paper, he says : 

" Our horses were now so weak and feeble, and the baggage so 
heavy, (as we were obliged to provide all the necessaries which the 
journey would require,) that we doubted much their performing it. 
Therefore, myself and others, except the drivers, who were obliged 
to ride, gave up our horses for packs, to assist along with the baggage. 
I put myself in an Indian walking dress, and continued with them 
three days, until I found there was no probability of their getting 
home in any reasonable time. The horses became less able to travel 
every day ; the cold increased very fast ; and the roads were becom- 
ing much worse by a deep snow, continually freezing : therefore, as 
I was uneasy to get back, to make report of my proceedings to his 
honour the governor, I determined to prosecute my journey, the 
nearest way through the woods, on foot. 

Accordingly, I left Mr. Vanbraam in charge of our baggage, with 
money and directions to provide necessaries from place to place for 
themselves and horses, and to make the most convenient despatch 
in travelling. 

I took my necessary papers, pulled off my clothes, and tied myself 



up in a watch coat. Then, with gmi in hand, and pack on my back, 
in which were my papers and provisions, I set out with Mr. Gist, 
fitted in the same manner, on Wednesday the 26th. The day follow 
ing, just after we had passed a place called Murdering town, (where 
we intended to quit the path and steer across the country for Shana- 
pin's town,) we fell in with a party of French Indians, who had laid 
in wait for us. One of them fired at Mr. Gist or me, not fifteen 
steps off, but fortunately missed. We took this fellow^ into custody, 
and kept him until about nine o'clock at night, then let him go, and 
walked all the remaining part of the night without making any stop, 
that we might get the start, so far, as to be out of the reach of their 
pursuit the next day, since we were well assured they would follow 
our track as soon as it was light. The next day we continued travel- 
ling until quite dark, and got to the river about two miles above 
Shanapins. We expected to have found the river frozen, but it was 
not, only about fifty yards from each shore. The ice, I suppose, had 
broken up above, for it was driving in vast quantities. 

There was no way for getting over but on a raft, which we set 
about, with but one poor hatchet, and finished just after sun setting. 
This was a whole day's M'ork : we next got it launched, then went 
on board of it, and set off; but before we were half way over, w^e 
were jammed in the ice, in such a manner, that we expected every 
moment our raft to sink, and ourselves to perish. I put out my set- 
ting pole to try to stop the raft, that the ice might pass by, when the 
rapidity of the stream threw it wdth so much violence against the 
pole, that it jerked me out into ten feet water ; but I fortunately 
saved myself by catching hold of one of the raft logs Notwith- 
standing all our efforts, we could not get to either shore, but were 
obliged, as we were near an island, to quit our raft and make to it. 

The cold was so extremely severe, that Mr. Gist had all his fingers, 
and some of his toes frozen, and the water was shut up so hard, that 
we found no difficulty in getting off the island on the ice in the 
morning, and went to Mr. Frazier's. We met here with twenty 
warriors, who were going to the southward to war ; but coming to a 
place on the head of the great Kanawa, where they found seven 
people killed and scalped, (all but one woman with very light hair,) 
they turned about and ran back, for fear the inhabitants should rise 
and take them as the authors of the murder. They report that the 
bodies were lying about the house, and some of them much torn and 
eaten by the hogs. By the marks which were left, they say they 
were French Indians of the Ottoway nation, &c. who did it. 

As we intended to take horses here, and it required some time to 
feed them, I went up about three miles to the mouth of Yohogany, 



Wasliington ■writing his Journal. 

to visit queen AUiquippa, who had expressed great concern that we 
passed her in going to the fort. I made her a present of a watch 
coat and a bottle of rum, which latter was thought much the best 
present of the two. 

Tuesday, the first of January, we left Mr. Frazier's house, and 
arrived at Mr. Gist's, at Monongahela, the second, where I bought a 
horse, saddle, &c. The sixth, we met seventeen horses loaded with 
materials and stores for a fort at the forks of the Ohio, and the day 
after, some families going out to settle. This day, we arrived at 
Wills' creek, after as fatiguing a journey as is possible to conceive, 
rendered so by excessive bad weather. From the first day of Decem- 
ber to the fifteenth, there was but one day on which it did not rain 
or snow incessantly ; and throughout the whole journey, we met with 
nothing but one continued series of cold, wet weather, which occa- 
sioned very uncomfortable lodgings, especially after we had quitted 
our tent, which was some screen from the inclemency of it. 

On the eleventh, I got to Belvoir, where I stopped one day to take 
necessary rest ; and then set out and arrived in Williamsburg the 
sixteenth, when I waited upon his honour the governor, with the 
letter I had brought from the French commandant, and to give an 
account of the success of my proceedings. This I beg leave to do 
by offering the foregoing narrative, as it contains the most remark- 
able occurrences which happened in my journey." 

The journal from which the foregoing extract is made, being pub- 
lished shortly after Washington's return from this perilous expedition, 
excited general attention both in this country and in Europe, on 
account of the important information it contained, and the remark- 


able ability it evinced. It gives an accurate account of all the great 
natural features of the country with geographical and military obser- 
vations, and other valuable hints. This was of great use in the 
subsequent wars with the French and Indians, 

Immediately after this affair Washington was appointed Lieutenant 
Colonel, in a newly raised regiment of three hundred men, under 
Colonel Fry. In April, 1754, he selected two companies and 
marched rapidly to the Great Meadows, in the Alleghany Valley, in 
whose vicinity a large party of the French had been for some time 
hovering. When within a short distance of a hostile detachment he 
halted, formed his men, marched the greater part of the night, 
attacked the party before daybreak, and captured or killed the 

War was now formally declared by the French, and both nations 
made the greatest preparations to meet it. Upon the death of Colonel 
Fry, Washington obtained the command in Virginia, with an addi- 
tion to his force of two companies of regulars. He marched towards 
Fort du Quesne, at the junction of the Alleghany and Monongahela 
rivers, and the great military depot of the enemy, commanding the 
communication with Canada, Louisiana, and the West. Suddenly, he 
received information that 1300 French and Indians, under M. de 
Villiers, were advancing rapidly upon him, and that the savages were 
concealed in the woods directly ahead as " thick as pigeons." Wash- 
ington immediately fell back to the Great Meadows, where he had 
erected a small work called Fort Necessity. Here they were furi- 
ously attacked, by an enemy thirsting for blood and plunder, and 
who fondly hoped at each discharge to frighten the little garrison 
from their fort. But with a courage rarely exceeded in defensive 
warfare, this band of three hundred men poured forth their volleys 
of defence against a force three times their number. For nine hours 
the French and their savage allies were held at bay, while the fort 
was in an almost continuous blaze of musketry. Discouraged by 
such resistance, Villiers offered terras which were accepted, and the 
garrison marched from the fort with all the honors of war. 

The thanks of the legislature of Virginia were presented to 
Washington for his courage and ability in this affair ; and the de- 
fenders of Fort Necessity every where received the highest marks 
of respect and gratitude. 

In the winter of 1754-5, an incident occurred which displays a 
trait in the character of Washington that has not escaped the notice 
of any of his biographers. Orders were transmitted from England, 
that the general and field officers of the colonies should be divested 
of all rank while serving with the same grades commissioned by the 



king- ; and company officers of equal rank were directed to give pre- 
cedence to the regulars, without regard to seniority of date. By this 
arrangement young men who had no experience in war, would take 
rank above men who had grown gray under the smiles of victory. 
Feeling that under this state of things, the door of honor and pro- 
motion was entirely closed, Washington threw up his commission 
and retired to Mount Vernon, 

ITTLE respite was afforded 
him for repose. British regi- 
ments arrived in Virginia under 
General Braddock, destined for 
the reduction of FortduQuesne. 
When this officer learned that 
Colonel Washington had retired 
from service, he expressed great 
disapprobation at the cause, and 
immediately invited him to re- 
join as his aid-de-camp. Wash- 
ington promptly consented to 
accept the post, acting as a volunteer, and the most sanguine expec- 
tations were raised that the valor of the English, aided by the 
topographical knowledge of the provincials, would terminate the war 
in a single campaign. 

Much time was 'consumed in preparation, and when the army did 
start. General Braddock was so scrupulous about the regular disci- 
pline as to reject all advice of Washington, and proceeded as though 
against a force like themselves, in an open plain. The Colonel then 
suggested the propriety of advancing with his provincials, and scour- 
ing the forests for ambuscades ; but his representations were consi- 
dered impertinent, and the army still held on in its blind course. 

On the 9th of July, 1755, after a fatiguing march, they arrived 
at the Pass of the Monongahela, a wild road flanked . by rising 
grounds, which were surrounded by dense overhanging forests. Here 
the proud army that had left Virginia with all the buoyancy of hope, 
were to encounter a melancholy reverse. On each side of the path 
lay multitudes of concealed Indians, who had been sent from Fort 
Du Quesne to harass and impede the approaching army. From their 
hidden retreat they poured upon the British a murderous fire, while 
the regulars, wedged in between rocks and forests, and unable for a 
while either to retreat or advance, were thrown into confusion. Brad- 
dock immediately rode along the van and endeavored to restore 
oiTler. But his valor was vain. Horse after horse was killed, and 



Wasliington advising Braddoci to guard against an amtuEcade. 

at last he himself sunk down amid hundreds of his fallen soldiers. 
All the officers of his staff were killed except Washington. The 
troops broke on all sides, and rushed back towards the ford of the 
Monongahela in full view of the enemy. Elated by the unexpected 
sight the Indians left the forest, and commenced the pursuit. But 
they met with another force, one which they had formerly learned 
to fear. By the fall of Braddock the command devolved on Colonel 
Washington, who, though debilitated by a serious attack of fever, 
had been engaged all day. He covered the retreating troops with a 
part of the Virginians, while the remainder, adopting the Indian 
mode of warfare, poured upon the pursuers from trees and thickets, 
so heavy a fire as to arrest the pursuit, and kill many of the enemy. 
This saved the relics of the army. General Braddock died four days 
after, and found a grave in the wilderness. 

Of eighty-six officers engaged in this battle, sixty -five were killed 
and wounded. Its consequences were fearful. Consternation per- 
vaded all classes in proportion to the amount of previous expectation, 
and all the border settlements were broken up. But one officer 
reaped a full harvest of glory from this bloody field. That one was 
Washington. It was universally acknowledged, that had his advice 
been taken the expedition would have succeeded, and his conduct on 
the battle field, and during the retreat, was the theme of all praise. 
The legislature of Virginia ordered the raising of sixteen companies, 
the command of which was bestowed upon the Colonel ; and he was 
further promoted to be commander-in-chief of all the forces, raised 


or to be raised, in Virginia, with the power of selecting his own field 

HE duties of this station were most arduous. An 
immense frontier was to be defended by a mere handful 
of men ; and great offensive operations were expected, 
where it was almost impossible to perform any. The 
soldiers had some skirmishes with the enemy, in all of 
which they exhibited the fruits of their strict training ; 
but no conflict occurred of sufficient importanca to deserve special 

In 1758, the French abandoned Fort Du Quesne, which was taken 
possession of by General Forbes ; and in the following year the con- 
quest of Quebec restored quiet to the colonies, Washington now 
resigned his military office, and retired to the enjoyment of that hap- 
piness which private life alone can confer. On the 6th of January, 
1759, he married Mrs. Martha Custis, a lady of handsome fortune, 
and great personal accomplishments. Previous to this he had been 
elected a member of the House of Burgesses in Virginia, where he 
remained until the commencement of the revolutionary war. When 
this was not in session he followed the peaceful pursuits of a planter, 
upon his extensive estate at Mount Vernon. 

Although in a great measure removed from the public eye during 
this period, yet he watched the progress of the dispute between 
England and her colonies with intense interest. His opinion was 
often solicited by the master spirits of that trying time ; he was 
invited to attend all the military companies of his neighborhood while 
drilling, and he was already regarded as the future commander of 
the Virginia soldiery. These expectations were soon to be more 
than realized. 

Washington was appointed a member of the first Congress, where 
his firmness, solid information and personal dignity, gained him the 
respect of every member. 

When Patrick Henry was asked whom he thought the greatest 
man in this Congress, he answered : "If you speak of eloquence, 
Mr. Rutledge, of South Carolina, is by far the greatest orator ; but 
if you speak of solid information and sound judgment. Colonel 
Washington is unquestionably the greatest man on that floor." 

When the second Congress met, May 10th, 1775, he was again 
among the number. The great drama had then opened, the war of 
independence had begun ; and the battle of Lexington had for ever 
severed the Old World from the New. Men whose equals have rarely 
been recorded upon history, were there assembled to decide on the 
interest of millions of injured freemen. Money could not buy thejn, 



Patrick Henry. 

venality corrupt, or danger terrify them. Property and life were 
worthless, compared to the great cause which had brought them 

The duties of this Congress were most arduous. After providing 
for the raising of an army, they unanimously elected George Wash- 
ington " General and Commander-in-chief of the army of the United 
Provinces, and of all the forces now raised or to be raised by them, 
and of all others who shall voluntarily offer their services." He had 
been proposed by Mr. John Adams in the early part of June, and 
was elected by ballot on the 15th. His emotion at this unequivocal 
display of confidence was very great. When it was announced to 
him by the president, he rose slowly from his seat, and in a few 
remarks expressed the diffidence he felt in his abilities and military 
experience, but declared his determination to exert every power for 
his country's service, and the success of her glorious cause. Con- 
gress fixed his salary at five hundred dollars per month, which he 
declined accepting, averring his determination to require only an 
indemnity for his expenses while in service, a copy of which he pro- 



Washington's Head-Quarters at Cambridge, 

mised to present regularly to Congress. He received his commission 
on the 19th, at which time Congress entered into a solemn agree- 
ment to assist and adhere to him, by their lives, fortunes, and 

With a laudable promptness Washington prepared at once for 
entrance upon his duty. In his journey toward Boston he was every 
where received with that enthusiasm and deference due to his 
important office, and his arrival at his head-quarters in Cambridge, 
was hailed by the warmest acclamations of officers and soldiers. 

The American army was at this time besieging Boston, the head- 
quarters of the royal troops. They were scattered on both sides of 
Charles river, over a space of nearly twelve miles, and numbering 
about fourteen thousand men, but far from possessing an efficiency 
equal to their numbers. Washington found the materials for a good 
army — a great number of men, active, zealous in the cause, and of 
unquestionable courage — and these were all. Entire absence of dis- 
cipline, and even subordination prevailed throughout the camp ; and 
the dampening fact was soon discovered, that the M^hole quantity of 
ammunition on hand would barely supply nine rounds to each man. 
Besides, there was scarcely one bayonet in camp ; and as a still fur 


ther discouragement to all efTorts at enforcing discipline, the time of 
service of a large number would expire with that year. 

^j^^^ss) ^^ ITTLE regarding these discouraging 

appearances, Washington entered upon 
his duties with ardor. He organized the 
army into brigades and divisions, and 
drilled them with untiring perseverance. A pay- 
■ master, a quartermaster-general, and other staff 
officers, were also added to the army through his 
recommendation. He was, however, obliged to 
remain inactive during the fall and winter, as the 
strength of his army, compared with that of the British, would not 
justify an attempt to expel them from Boston. Early in the spring 
of 1776, however, being reinforced by a considerable body of new 
recruits, he determined to force the British either to fight or abandon 
the town. During the night of the 4th of March, the fortification 
of Dorchester Heights was commenced, and on the following morn- 
ing the astonished enemy beheld before them an extensive and com- 
manding work, which, to use their own words, appeared as though 
it had sprung from the ground by eastern magic. Howe promptly 
determined to dislodge the Americans from this dangerous position, 
and for this purpose despatched two thousand men across the creek. 
But the elements were adverse to his operations. A furious storm 
scattered all his boats, and the troops were recalled. On the 14th, 
the army and fleet left the city, which they had held so long, and 
immediately after the troops of Washington entered amid the accla- 
mations of the inhabitants. Congress commemorated the event by 
a gold medal, and tendered their thanks to W^ashington and his army. 
Apprehensive of an attack upon New York, Washington hastened 
to that city, and commenced active preparations for its defence. 
Howe sailed for Halifax, where after receiving large reinforcements, 
he re-embarked and landed at Staten Island on the 3d and 4th of 
July. Here his force was augmented by a large number of dis- 
affected royalists, principally under the command of Governor Tryon. 
It formed the largest and best army ever concentrated in America, 
numbering nearly thirty thousand men, excellently equipped and in a 
high state of discipline. On their arrival at Staten Island, the 
American army scarcely numbered ten thousand men, enfeebled by 
long exposure, and dispirited by sickness and poverty. But still their 
leader did not despair. Petition after petition was presented to Con- 
gress, for the better payment of the troops, and the increase of the 
army, and the militia of the neighboring states were ordered imme- 
diately to camp. 



The Declaranon of Independence read to LTie Soldiers. 

Meanwhile an event had taken place, which gave a new character 
to all the subsequent operations of the war, and stamped its leaders 
as apostles of human liberty. This was the Declaration of Inde- 
pendence, proclaimed at Philadelphia, July 4th, 1776. It was 
transmitted to Washington, and by him to the soldiers, who received 
it with shouts of enthusiasm. It infused new life into those who 
felt that henceforth they had a high object, a sacred reward to attain, 
which would be a blessing to themselves, to their children, and to 
generations yet unborn. 

Lord Howe and his brother, Sir William, did not proceed to imme- 
diate-hostilities. They had been commissioned by the king to treat 
with the colonies for an adjustment of difficulties, and to grant the 
royal pardon to all those who would lay down arms. These powers 
were communicated to Washington by the two commanders, and a 
correspondence took place, which clearly exhibits the elevated tone 
of character which ever distinguished Washington. The first letter 
being addressed to " George Washington, Esq.," was returned 
unopened, and a similar success attended one written to " George 
Washington, &c. &c. &c." Commissioners were then appointed to 
a personal conference ; but after a pompous display of the sorrow of 
the king concerning the existing difficulties, his anxiety, and that of 
his envoys, Lord and Sir William Howe, for their speedy termina- 
tion, and their full ability to grant pardons, Washington calmly 
replied, that while all this was true, it seemed useless to talk of par- 
don, where no offence had been committed ; for in resorting to arms, 
the Americans were only defending the rights guarantied to them by 
the British constitution. The conference then closed, and both 
armies prepared for war. 



ONG ISLAND was the scene of a disas- 
trous battle on the 2 6th of August, 1776. 
Washington did not command in person ; 
but he had taken every precaution to 
guard against surprise, and defend his 

weak points. Unfortunately an important pass 
was left unguarded through the criminal neglect 
of those to whose care it was entrusted ; and the 
omission was very soon improved by Sir Henry 
Clinton. Putnam, the American commander, did 
all that a brave man could do, but the discipline of the enemy pre- 
vailed. Whole regiments poured through the captured pass, drove 
in the weak portions of the Americans with heavy loss, and marched 
rapidly toward their rear. Washington was at Brooklyn, a sad 
spectator of the slaughter of his troops. His first impulse was to 
cross immediately ; then the danger of his immediate command, if 
left to itself, interposed; till after alternate fear and irnpulse,^he 
became sensible that his presence could not retrieve his losses, nor 
atone for damage that might accrue by absence from his present 
post. He accordingly confined his exertions to the safe withdrawal 
of the troops within the fortified lines, and to preparations for a 
general retreat from the island. At the same time he had the address 
to present so bold a front to the enemy, that Howe and his elated 
army were deterred from an immediate attack, and obliged to con- 
duct their advances with all the cautious formality of a regular 

In the battle of Long Island, the force of the Americans did not 
exceed five thousand men, while that of the enemy was nearly three 
times that number. Their loss was about twelve hundred men, of 
whom one thousand were prisoners. 

All hope of defending New York was now abandoned, and on the 
28th of July Washington made his celebrated retreat from Long 
Island. It was itself a triumph. Defeated and disheartened, with 
an army flushed by victory behind, and a powerful fleet ready to 
intercept their movements, his little band crossed a broad river in 
small boats, with such sixcnce and activity, that though busily engaged 
all night they were not perceived by the enemy until the very last 
division had nearly touched the opposite shore. The astonishment 
of the British commander was equalled only by his chagrin, at see- 
ing his enemy thus beyond his reach. He had hoped that retreat 
would be impossible without the risk of a second battle, which might 
place the continental troops entirely at his disposal : but with the 
blasting of those hopes came the unwelcome prospect of long and 



tedious marches, battles and hard won victories, before his antagonist 
would again be in his former situation. 

Washington now moved up the Hudson, followed by the hostile 
army. Some skirmishing took place between advance parties, but 
the American commander was so happy in the choice of his positions, 
that no decisive advantage could be obtained over him. Soon after, 
the British commenced a retrograde movement, captured Fort Wash- 
ington, with twenty-five hundred men and a large quantity of stores, 
and compelled the hasty evacuation of Fort Lee. The loss was 
heavy and sudden. The British continued to move rapidly down 
the river, followed by Washington, until they reached the Jerseys. 
Here the Americans commenced the disastrous retreat, which has 
no parallel in their history. Loss in battle, desertion, abandonment 
of service, and other causes, had. reduced them to less than five 
thousand men. Driven from post to post, even this small number 
gradually diminished, so that when Washington crossed the Dela- 
ware, and took post near Philadelphia, he could not muster three 

V ( /' —^- ^A 

The Eetreat thiougli Jersey. 

Having driven the Americans from all the eastern posts, Lord 
Howe paused in the career of conquest, and began to improve the 
advantages already gained. He extended a line of military posts 
for many miles along the river, and posted large bodies of troops at 
all the principal towns. Large drafts were made upon the inhabi- 
tants for provisions, and the army went into winter quarters in a 
style of luxury rarely witnessed before in America. At the same 
time the continental troops were deficient of clothing, shoes, pro- 
visions, and military weapons, and exposed to hardships and suffer- 
ings almost incredible. But their leader was Washington. With him 


the republic was never to be despaired of, and his army always saw 
him as calm and collected as when fortune smiled upon his banners. 
He shared the privations of the soldiers, and by his words and exam- 
ple encouraged them to bear cheerfully the evils of their situation. 
The time was near when his anxiety and labors were to be gloriously 

By a careful consideration of the scattered state of the enemy at 
that time. General Washington became convinced that a simultaneous 
attack upon several of their posts, although a desperate undertaking, 
might not be unattended by important success at sonae one point. 
Accordingly a plan was laid for the 25th of December, by which 
the army was to cross the Delaware in three divisions ; one under 
General Irvine, to guard a bridge below Trenton, and cut off the 
retreat of all fugitives ; a second under Cadwalader, to attack Mount 
Holly ; and the main body under Washington to attack the British 
at Trenton. 

The night of the 25th was' cold and stormy. Hail and sleet fell 
in blinding showers, and the roaring of the wind, the crashing of ice, 
and pattering of hail made the scene indescribably gloomy and deso- 
late. How heavy must have been the heart of Washington during 
that winter night. The forlorn cause in which he was engaged, the 
uncertainty of success, and the consequences of defeat, hung like 
lead on his bosom. All night long he was on horseback superin- 
tending the tedious movement of his troops. That night was big 
with the fate of America ; in a few more hours liberty would be 
once more strong and beautiful as a youthful giant, or crushed for 
long succeeding ages. The troops toiled and struggled in their frail 
boats amid masses of ice, for three hours. At three o'clock the 
whole division had reached the Jersey shore with the loss of two men. 
They commenced the march at four, in two sections ; one proceeding 
by the lower, the other by the upper road. The attack commenced 
about sunrise. Washington drove in the pickets on the lower road, 
and in three minutes was greeted with the sound of the muskets on 
the upper. Confident of speedy success, he swept along to the head " 
of his men and ordered them to follow. In a few moments they 
reached the enemy. Colonel Rahl, a gallant officer, attempted to 
rally his men ; but he was mortally wounded, and everything gave 
way before Washington's furious charge. 

The enemy fled along the Princeton road, but were intercepted by 
a detachment thrown in their front for that purpose. Nine hundred 
and nine laid down their arms, and about a hundred more were 
afterwards found in the houses. Six field-pieces and one thousand 
stand of arms were also taken. The British had about twenty 


killed, the Americans two, and two frozen to death. Five hundred 
Hessians escaped by the road leading to Princeton. Neither Irvine 
nor Cadwalader were able to perform their part of the attack, or the 
enemy's whole line of intrenchments must have been completely 

Thinking it unsafe to remain at Trenton, Washington recrossed 
the Delaware and marched to Philadelphia, through which he passed 
with his prisoners, in order to impress the minds of the citizens with 
the importance of his victory. It had the desired effect. The joy 
of all classes was unbounded, and from that day — though reverses 
frequently dimmed the brilliancy of the prospect — hope never again 
deserted the cause of American independence. 

When too late. Lord Howe perceived his error, in remaining 
supine, while the Americans were commanded by such a general as 
his adversary. In order however to atone for the past, he collected 
his army in force, and a new campaign commenced in the middle of 
winter. Two days after the battle of Trenton, Washington again 
crossed the Delaware, and soon learned that several columns of 
British troops under Earl Cornwallis were marching rapidly toward 
him. The enemy joined their forces at Princeton, advanced in great 
force, and on the 2d of January, 1777, came up with the Americans 
at the Assanpink creek. This was about four in the afternoon. 
A smart skirmish immediately ensued, but by means of some cannon 
advantageously posted, the enemy were kept at bay, and prevented 
from crossing the stream. A sullen cannonade was then maintained 
until night, when both armies kindled their fires. 

But that night brought no rest to the American army. With but 
a handful of men to oppose an overwhelming force, in a country 
possessed by the enemy, Washington well knew the peril w^hich 
would surround him, should he remain there till morning. The 
Delaware first presented itself as a means of escape, but an uncom- 
monly warm day had softened the ice, and the road to the river, so 
that a crossing could not be effected without imminent danger. But 
one course now remained, bold and hazardous, but worthy of the 
genius of Washington. He determined to march around the van and 
left flank of the enemy, proceed to Princeton, and after defeating 
what force might be there, to advance to Brunswick. As soon as 
it was dark, the baggage was silently removed to Burlington, and 
about one o'clock the army, leaving its fires lighted and its sentinels 
on the margin of the creek, decamped with the utmost stillness. The 
movement was providentially favored by the weather ; for the wand 
suddenly changing to the north-west, in a short time froze the ground 
as hard as a pavement. The British were completely deceived, 


although commanded by one of their ablest generals ; and when at 
sunrise the next morning the roar of Washington's cannon was heard 
in the distance, Cornwallis supposed it to be thunder. "When near 
Princeton, the Americans suddenly encountered two British regi- 
ments under Colonel Mawhood, who were marching to join the main 
body at Trenton. The van of the Americans, composed chiefly of 
militia, soon gave way ; and General Mercer, while gallantly exert- 
ing himself to rally them, received a mortal wound. The British 
rushed forward with fixed bayonets, driving back the scattered 
soldiers until they came in sight of the main body. Feeling that 
everything was at stake, Washington rode to the front of his troops, 
seized a standard, and callitig to them to follow, dashed toward the 
enemy. The sight of their beloved chief in danger, reanimated 
the heroes of Trenton. They met the charge of the enemy with 
vigor, and for a while the conflict was fierce and bloody. The 
British were at length divided into two colum.ns, one retreating 
towards Trenton, the other towards Brunswick. About three hundred 
of the regiment at Princeton surrendered. The British left one 
hundred dead upon the field ; the American loss was somewhat less, 
but it included the lamented Mercer, Colonels Haslet and Potter, 
Captain Neal of the artillery. Captain Fleming and five other valua- 
ble officers. 

Thus we have seen Washington keeping the field, and preserving 
the vigor of his operations in spite of the circumstances which com- 
manded inactivity. The British army found its divisions attacked 
and defeated in detail, while they considered themselves m perfect 
security, under the shield of all former experience. That principle 
of warfare which was the secret of Napoleon's victories — the pro- 
duction of a local superiority of force, by concentration against a 
distant position — was evidently a part of Washington's reasoning, 
and a main reliance for the success of his enterprises. The two 
battles of Trenton and Princeton, though similar in their outlines, 
were very different in point of conception and execution. The 
attack upon Trenton was a blow struck against an enemy in posi- 
tion, which admitted of every advantage of preparation on the part 
of the assailant. The battle of Princeton belonged to a higher and 
mo^e elaborate order of tactics. The American forces were already 
engaged with a superior army, commanded by an officer of eminent 
reputation ; and the change of plan was wholly contrived and exe- 
cuted with the enemy in front. It was entirely due to the prompt 
genius and fertile resources of Washington, that his army wias extri- 
cated from so perilous an exposure, and enabled to attack the enemy's 
rear with such advantage as to leave it no choice but flight or surrender. 




A military critic, contemplating these inspirations with a soldier's 
eye, can easily appreciate the feelings of the great Frederick, when 
he sent a sword to the American commander, as a gift from the 
world's oldest general to its best. 

The van of Cornwallis's army was near Princeton whenWashing- 
ton's commenced its march. He was therefore obliged to abandon that 
part of his plan, which embraced an attempt upon Brunswick, and 
marched toward the Highlands, in order to afford some relief to his 
exhausted soldiers. This march was tracked with blood from their 
lacerated feet ; and the excessive cold and fatigue they had undergone 
for many days had brought on diseases which absolutely demanded 
rest. He accordingly established his head-quarters at Morristovvnti, 

Washington's Head- Quarters at Morristown. 

where the enemy could be watched with perfect security, and supplies 
drawn from the neighboring country. While here he caused the 
whole army to be inoculated, and thus escaped the devastations of 
that terrible scourge — the small-pox. 

Both armies now used every exertion to strengthen themselves for 
some important operation in the spring. Taught by experience, that 
the Jerseys could not be overawed by a widely dispersed army, Howe 
collected almost all his troops at Amboy, and executed his measures 
with the greatest secrecy and caution. Meanwhile important skir- 
mishes frequently took place between small parties, which nearly all 
terminated favorably for the Americans; By these, a large number 
of prisoners and supplies were taken, and a wholesome feeling main- 
tained among the people. Washington was authorized by Congress 
to raise sixteen regiments, and received from that body the powers of 
military dictator for six months. 

In the spring, the British attacked the depots at Peekskill and 

46 Washington. 

Danhury, which they captured, carrying away a large quantity of 
miUtary stores. About the same time their own stores at Sagg 
Harbor, together with an armed schooner and some smaller vessels 
were destroyed by Colonel Meigs. 

HE great object of Sir William Howe 
at this time, was the capture of Phila- 
delphia. But he was surrounded with 
difficulties. Although Washington's 
^ effective force was not more than six 
thousand men, yet he v^^as so advan- 
tageously posted at Middlebrook, that 
he could repel an attack with advan- 
tage, or so harass the enemy should they attempt crossing the Dela- 
ware, as to cause them to abandon the project. Howe's means of 
crossing were also limited, and the Pennsylvania shore was guarded 
by strong bodies of the Americans. The British general then deter- 
mined to employ stratagem, and for many days manoeuvred around 
Washington's camp, in order to draw him to an engagement in the 
open plain. At one time he appeared on the point of crossing oppo- 
site Philadelphia ; at another opposite Trenton, and then would push 
in the direction of New York. But his adversary was not deceived. 
He had anticipated all these feints, and matured his plans to meet 
them. Sometimes he would leave his camp and cautiously follow the 
enemy ; but at the least retrograde movement on the part of the latter, 
and frequently when Sir William imagined the long desired prey 
within his grasp, a vigorous countermarch would suddenly place the 
Americans in their former position and give the British general new 
room for the exercise of his patience and ingenuity. Thus the spirits 
of the people were kept up, and that of the enemy proportionably 
worn out. 

At length the British commander was wearied out by this unprofit- 
able contest with an enemy who was neither to be deceived, nor 
overpowered. Protected by its position he fully appreciated the 
physical force of the American army, and having now fairly tested 
the skill of his adversary, he was satisfied that nothing was to be 
gained in the conflict of military science. A new plan was therefore 
resolved upon, whose first step w^as to be the total abandonment of 
New Jersey. Howe marched rapidly to Amboy, pursued by part of 
the American army. After making one last effort to gain the rear 
of his pursuers and failing, he abandoned the province, long fondly 
considered his own, and passed over to Staten Island for the purpose 
of embarkation. 

Although Washington had achieved the great triumph of driving 



General Howe. 


his enemy from an important position, yet he felt confident that he 
would very soon be called to defend some other equally valuable 
station. The designs of Howe were wrapt in mystery — He might 
intend an incursion up the North river, to defeat Schuyler, and join 
Burgoyne, or by means of his fleet, land at any point of the southern 
coast, commit extensive depredations, and march by land to Phila- 
delphia. Washington thought the latter the most probable, but with 
that disregard of his personal credit which he ever showed, when his 
country was in danger ; he dispatched all the troops he could spare 
to the north in order to strengthen Schuyler's army, for a successful 
attack upon Burgoyne. He then stationed himself upon the Dela- 
ware to watch any attempt upon the capital. 

His conjectures concerning Howe's intentions were correct. To 
ward the end of July, the fleet of that commander appeared off 
Delaware bay ; but owing to the obstructions which had been sunk 
there by the Americans, he again put to sea, ascended the Chesa 
peake, and landed at the head of Elk river. Washington immediately 



Washington's Head-Quarters at Brandywine. 

marched to meet him.. His whole force did not exceed eleven thou- 
sand men, many of them raw militia and miserably armed. The 
English numbered eighteen thousand regulars, finely equipped, and 
in the highest state of discipline. At daybreak on the morning of 
the 1 1th of September, the royal army advanced in two columns, the 
one commanded by Knyphausen, the other by Cornwallis. While 
the first column took the direct road to Chadd's Ford, on the Brandy- 
wine, and made a show of passing it in front of the main body of the 
Americans, the other moved up on the west side of the Brandywine, 
crossed both branches of its fork in the afternoon, and marched down 
on its eastern side with the view of turning the right wing of their 
adversaries. On receiving intelligence of their approach, Washington 
made the proper dispositions to meet it. The divisions commanded 
by Sullivan, Sterling and Stephens, advanced a little farther up the 
creek, and fronted the column of the approaching enemy ; Wayne's 
division with Maxwell's light infantry, remained at Chadd's Ford, to 
keep Knyphausen in check ; Greene's division accompanied by 
General Washington formed a reserve, and took a central position 
between the right and left wings. About four o'clock. Lord Corn- 
wallis formed the line of battle and began the attack. The Ameri- 
cans answered by rapid discharges of musketry, ^nd for some time 
the battle was spirited. At length the right gave way, and Cornwallis 
pushed against the flank of the other divisions, pouring in a galling 
lire upon one section after another, until the whole line broke and 
commenced a rapid retreat. At the beginning of this attack, Kny- 
phausen crossed the ford, and attacked the troops stationed there. 
Here the Americans fought with the obstinacy of despair, but were 
overpowered by numbers and routed. The whole American army 
then commenced a retreat, marching to Chester under cover of the 
r^ight, from whence they proceeded next day, to Philadelphia. 



HE American loss was three hundred killed, si7 
hundred wounded, and three hundred prisoners 
That of the British was one hundred killed and 
four hundred wounded. At Brandywine, Lafay 
ette first drew his sword in the cause of freedom 
and received a wound in the leg. 

Anxious for ,the safety of their principal city 
Congress urged Washington to risk another battle in its defence. Or 
the 1 6th of September, the armies met near the Warren tavern, abou 
twenty-three miles from Philadelphia. Some skirmishing took place 
which was becoming general, when a heavy rain wetted the powder of 
the Americans, and they were instantly ordered to retreat. This 
occurrence was providential, it being afterwards ascertained that the 
soldiers were alarmingly deficient in powder and cartridges. Howe 
now advanced to the Schuylkill and fixed his camp in front of the 
Americans. Notwithstanding the popular wisn, Washington declined 
risking the loss of his army by another battle, contenting himself by 
removing the most valuable stores up the Delaware. Congress 
adjourned to reassemble at Lancaster, and Dnthe 26th of .September 
Howe entered the American metropolis A large division of the 
army marched to the village of GermantiWn, about five miles from 
Philadelphia, a second was stationed at Chester, and Lord Corn- 
wallis with the remainder occupied the city. 

This scattered condition of the roya army afforded Washington 
an opportunity similar to that presented at Trenton, and which he 
was not slow in endeavoring to improve He chose Germantown for 
the point of attack, and made admirable arrangements for securing 
victory before Cornwallis could reinforce the enemy. Wayne and 
Sullivan were charged with the attack of the village in front by the 
main street from the side of Chestnut Hill. General Armstrong with 
the Pennsylvania militia was to mo\e upon the rear, along the Ridge 
road, turning the enemy's left flank ; the same movement was to be 
effected on their right by Generals Forman and Smallwood, down the 
Old York road. Another column under Greene and Stephens was 
to attack the right wing in the centre of the town. The command 
of the reserve was entrusted to Lord Sterling. 

Before sunrise on the 4th of October, Wayne and Sullivan com- 
menced a furious attack upon the outposts, which gave way together 
with the light infantry and the fortieth regiment, losing all their bag- 
gage. Though .closely pursued, Lieutenant-Colonel Musgrave with six 
companies took refuge in a strong stone house, (Chew's House,) am.. 
severely galled the Americans by a fire of musketry from the door 
and windows. Washington ordered a brigade to surroued the house 




Loid Ho-we. 

■hXv the colonel refused to surrender, sustaining the fire of his antago 
nists until two brigades came to his assistance. The whole field was 
now in confusion in consequence of a heavy fog, which prevented the 
companies from seeing each other. General Greene however gained 
the centre of the village and was pressing the enemy to advantage, 
when he learned that the Americans were retreating in another 
quarter. Colonel Matthews routed a party of the British opposed 
to him, killed several, and took one hundred and ten prisoners ; but 
unable to see the brigade to which he belonged, he was taken with 
all his regiment. Washington could not distinguish friend from foe. 
Soon however, the rushing of his men as they swept by him in wild 
panic, told the sad tale that the fair prospects of the morning were 
blasted, and the day lost. He rode from post to post, trying to rally 
the fugitives, but in vain ; Greene's division was withdrawn from the 
village, and the whole army retreated to Skippack creek. Their 
loss was two hundred killed, six hundred wounded, and four hundred 
made prisoners. The enemy lost six hundred, of whom one hundred 
were killed. 

The British had now obtained military possession of Philadelphia ; 
but in order to preserve it, they must open a communication with the 
fleet of Lord Howe. The vigilance of the Americans had placed 



Red Bank. 

many obstructions in the bay and river, and established a fort on 
Mud island, and another at Red Bank, which they were determined 
to defend to the last extremity. The resolution was soon put to the 
test. On the 22d of October, Count Donop, a German officer, 
attacked the works at Red Bank with twelve hundred men. Five 
ships of the line moved up the river, and while the Hessians assaulted 
the works by land, the vessels poured into them a heavy cannonade 
from the water. But they met with an opposition as terrible as it 
was unexpected. The garrison were principally militia, commanded 
by Colonel Christopher Greene ; yet chafed by the loss of the capital, 
and animated by their noble leader, they fought like veterans. Rank 
after rank of the enemy sunk beneath their unerring aim, until at 
length the gallant Count, while cheering on his men, fell, mortally 
wounded. His soldiers retreated, leaving one third of their comrades 
upon the bloody field. The ships continued to discharge shells and 
red-hot shot until late at night, but with very little effect. Their 
own loss was severe and unexpected. The Augusta, a seventy-four 
gun ship, with the sloop Merlin, ran aground, — could not be set 
afloat, and subsequently blew up. On the following morning the 
cannonade was renewed ; but the British soon became convinced of 
its futility, and withdrew. 

Severe as was this repulse, Howe still persevered in opening the 
wished for communication. On the 10th of November, Fort Mifflin 
was attacked from a heavy battery on Province island, within the 
distance of five hundred yards. The cannonade was continued almost 
incessantly for several days, and produced considerable impression 
The American guns were nearly all dismounted, the block-houses 
and palisades beaten down, and the small garrison wearied out by 
unremitting exertion. Washington sent relief to the officers of the 
fort, but his instructions were positive that the place should be main 
tained to the last extremity, and they were strictly and literallv 



obeyed. The besiegers, finding that all theii;^means would be required 
to obtain success, called in the assistance of their fleet. It was 
ascertained that in consequence of the obstructions thrown into the 
other parts of the river, the current had deepened the inner channel 
between Mud and Province islands, 'so as to admit of safe navigation 
for vessels of considerable burthen. The frigate Vigilant and a sloop 
of war were brought up this channel, and anchored within a hundred 
yards of the rear of the fort, from which position they were enabled 
to pour a destructive fire of cannon, musketry and grenades. The 
garrison fought with the heroism of men reduced to desperation. The 
fort was enveloped in smoke, broken only by the red flashes of artil- 
lery ; while the roar of cannon echoed and re-echoed far up the 
solitary shores of the Delaware. One portion after another of the de- 
fences sunk beneath the heavy fire of the British, until the 1 6th, when 
the fort was no longer tenable. The garrison accordingly withdrew 
under cover of the night ; the post at Red Bank was also evacuated, 
and thus, after six weeks hard labor, and heavy loss of lives and 
money, the enemy obtained a safe navigation of the river and bay. 

Meanwhile triumphant success had attended the American arms in 
the north. Early in the spring of this year. General Burgoyne had 
marched from Canada, with a splendid army of ten thousand men, 
for the' purpose of overrunning New England, joining Sir Henry 
Clinton at New York, and thus completely severing the eastern from 
the other States, in order, subsequently, to subdue them at leisure. 
He was a most able general, and at first his success was equal to his 
abilities ; and but for the abilities of one man, there can be little 
doubt that the desired junction would have taken place. That man 
was General Schuyler. Although almost destitute of any regular 
force, and surrounded with suspicions from his superiors, and insub- 
ordination from his men, he yet kept the field without material loss, 
and by cutting off supplies, harassing detached parties, obstructing 
roads, tearing up bridges, and threatening the army in different quar- 
ters, — ^he so annoyed the enemy that they were often occupied a 
whole day in advancing one mile. Meanwhile troops were hurrying 
on from all parts of the country, and the American general saw with 
delight that his labors were soon to be rewarded, and victory perhaps 
gained before the fond anticipations of Burgoyne were realized. The 
first check of the British was at Bennington, where General Stark 
defeated a large detachment of the enemy under Breymen and Baum, 
taking about six hundred prisoners, together with nine hundred 
swords and one thousand muskets. At this important moment, 
Schuyler was superseded by General Gates. His feelings must have 
been excruciating ; but conscious of the magnitude of his services, 

burgoyne's surrender. 53 

he added to the lustre of his former labors, by the dignity of his 
resignation, and retired to a subordinate station still to prosecute that 
which had ever been his pride — the service of his country. 

Gates found the British general so com- 
pletely hemmed in by the obstructions 
w^hich Schuyler had thrown in his way, 
that he could neither advance nor retro- 
grade. On the 19th of September an en- 
gagement took place at Stillwater, which 
for obstinacy has few equals in the revo- 
.lution. For four hours the fierce comba- 
tants fought hand to hand ; and ceased 
only when night had settled thick around 
General Schuyler. them. The Americans lost about three 

hundred and twenty, the British about six hundred. 

On the 7th of October, a second battle took place near Stillwater, 
in which the Americans killed and captured a great number of the 
enemy, penetrated to their camp, took nine pieces of brass cannon, 
and a German encampment with all its equipage. 

These heavy losses convinced Burgoyne that his triumphs were 
ended, and that nothing but a speedy retreat could save him from 
ruim He accordingly attempted a retrograde movement to Fort 
George, but failed. He then determined to open a communication 
with Fort Edward, but in the midst of his preparations learned that 
that post had surrendered. No intelligence came from Clinton ; 
another battle would ruin him. Excessive toil had worn down his 
army ; and hunger, and disease, and wretchedness had reduced the 
soldiers to mere skeletons. Under these circumstances a council of 
war was called, which unanimously decided upon a surrender ; this 
took place on the 17th of October. 

Glorious and important as was this event, it was very near becom- 
ing in its indirect consequences the ruin of the American cause. 
Rising into confidence with the apparent discouragement of the 
British at this unlocked for catastrophe, public opinion loudly required 
that some effort should be made to surprise or storm Howe's position 
at Philadelphia. Invidious comparisons were drawn between Gates 
and Washington, by a strong party hostile to the commander-in- 
chief. The triumph of one, and the comparative inactivity of the 
other, were attributed to a difference in their respective characters 
and abilities. It was urged also, that the rapid depreciation of paper 
money would extinguish the national resources, unless confidence 
were revived by the striking of a decisive blow. The greatness oi 
Washington's mind, and his peculiar fitness for the times in which he 



was placed, were again wonderfully exhibited. Had he possessed 
in his temperament the least mixture of envy or personal vanity, or 
had the firm resolution of his mind been capable of impression from 
the force of public clamor or private importunity, the independence 
of his country would, in all human probability, have been annihi- 
lated. But his prudent judgment prevailed over all personal consider- 
ation. A plot to supersede him was detected, its framers silenced 
by outbursts of popular indignation, and the pure one whom they 
wished to injure aggrandized more and more in the eyes of his coun- 
try and of the world. History has shed an unfading lustre around 
his conduct at that period, while the deeds and plottings of his oppo- 
nents have long been sleeping in kind oblivion. 

N the 4th of December, Sir William 
Howe left Philadelphia with four- 
teen thousand men, to try the for- 
tunes of war once more in pitched 
battle. He had hoped to surprise Washington, 
but being disappointed, endeavored to draw him 
from his secure position among the high hills 
near Germantovra. Able manoeuvring took place, 
and both commanders changed their relative 
positions within sight of each other. Some 
sharp skirmishing took place, in which the loss on both sides was 
about one hundred. Both armies, with the whole surrounding popu- 
lation, were now awaiting with intense anxiety a battle, which 
promised to be more terrible than any of its predecessors in the same 
region, when suddenly Howe broke up his camp and marched rapidly 
to Philadelphia. This unexpected retreat of an able general, who, 
flushed with recent victories, had marched some miles for the express 
purpose of giving battle, is a proof of the estimation in which Wash- 
ington was held by military men of that period. 

The great severity of the season now rendered it necessary that 
the army should retire into winter quarters. Accordingly on the 
1 1th of December, the main body commenced its march to Valley 
Forge, a position about twenty-five miles from Philadelphia, on the 
western side of the Schuylkill, and equally distant from the Dela- 
ware above and below the city. A permanent camp was here formed 
from log huts having the interstices closed with mortar. In order 
to prevent all intercourse between the British army and the country, 
General Smallwood with his division took post at Wilmington, 
General Armstrong at Whitemarsh, while Colonel Morgan and 
numerous troops of cavalry scoured the whole country west of the 


^JHE sufferings of the Americans at Valley Forge 
^ were more severe than any they had yet experi- 
^ enced. The troops were almost destitute of 
5 clothing and proper food. In this condition of 
3 affairs the commander was perplexed with the 
most alarming difficulties. He was empowered 
to seize all provisions within seventy miles of 
head-quarters, giving in return a certificate 
redeemable by the United States. No funds were provided to meet 
these demands, and as Sir William Howe paid liberally in gold and 
silver for all that was conveyed into the city, murmurs naturally 
arose, which tended much to diminish the popularity of the American 
cause. Washington exerted his authority to collect such supplies as 
were absolutely necessary ; but his conduct was loudly complained 
of by the people for its rigor, and by Congress for its lenity. The 
discontents increased to such an extent, that at length an organized 
conspiracy against the general-in-chief, was formed by several mili- 
tary officers and members of Congress. The triumph of General 
Gates at Saratoga was urged as evidence of what might be expected 
from a change in the command of the main army ; and the conduct 
of that officer left no doubt of his giving encouragement to the dis- 
affected. But the conspirators soon found that the affections of the 
American people were too firmly rooted upon their tried leader to be 
shaken by the feeble breath of faction. Their efforts recoiled upon 
themselves, and even the northern army, which had won its laurels 
under Gates, now clung to Washington. 

During these transactions, the whole country was filled with exulta 
tion by the arrival of official intelligence, that a treaty of alliance, 
commerce and friendship, had been signed between the king of 
France and the United States. The British government treated this 
act as a declaration of war. 

While the army lay at Valley Forge, its scouts were so active in 
cutting off communication between the city and country, and inter 
cepting supplies to the British, that Sir William Howe frequently 
found himself reduced to the greatest distress. 

The last important enterprise undertaken by the English general 
was an attempt to surprise Lafayette at Barren Hill. Failing in this, 
he resigned the command to Sir Henry Clinton. As the probable 
approach of a French fleet, rendered Philadelphia a dangerous posi- 
tion ; this officer resolved to evacuate the city, and withdraw the 
whole British force from the Delaware. 

The arrangements for this important movement attracted the 
attention of the commander-in-chief, who instantly commenced active 



preparations to impede the enemy's march through New Jersey. On 
the 17th of June, 1778, the British army crossed the Delaware and 
slowly moved toward New York, Immediately after, Washington 
crossed at Coryell's ferry with a force about equal to that of the 
British, and by occupying the higher grounds, preserved the power 
of giving or avoiding battle. The former course had been declared 
unadvisable by a council of war. General Lee declared that independ- 

Council of "War before the Battle of Monmouth. 

ence was now sure, but that it might be lost by the ruin of the army, 
which would probably follow an attack on the British. Thirteen 
officers favored this opinion ; it was opposed by Wayne, Cadwalader 
and Greene, and partially by Lafayette. With the latter General 
Washington coincided, and resolved to risk a battle at all hazards. 

Early on the 28th, Sir Henry broke up his encampment near 
Monmouth Court House, and continued his retreat. The baggage 
was in front under General Knyphausen, while the strength of the 
army formed the rear division under the especial command of Lord 
Cornwallis. As the British were, then within twelve miles of the 
heights of Middletown, where they would be in perfect security, 
Washington ordered Lee to attack their rear the moment it was in 
motion. Lee did so, and the rear of the Americans moved rapidly 
forward to support him. Washington rode on, full of hope and con- 


fidence, when to his utter astonishment he perceived the front in full 
retreat, without fighting, or exhibiting any reasons for so unexpected 
a movement. Some warm expressions to General Lee, exhibited the 
strong displeasure of the commander, and instant measures were 
adopted for arresting the advance of the English, and for reforming 
the disordered troops. The comm.ander exerted himself in a manner 
as unusual to him as it was effective. He had determined on victory, 
and now he struggled with fortune for her reluctant gift. His whole 
form was convulsed with excitement, as galloping from rank to rank, 
amid showers of death, and mangled forms, and wildest uproar, he 
shouted to his legions to re-form. At the sound of that beloved voice, 
each soldier forgot his fear, and turned in the very face of the pursuing 
foe. The tide of victory turned w^th them. 

The left wing and second line were drawn up on an eminence, 
covered in front by a morass. Lord Sterling, who commanded the 
former, with the aid of Charrington's artillery repulsed the attack of 
a British column, and effectually checked their forward movement. 
The enemy then endeavored to turn the left flank of the Americans, 
but were roughly repulsed. Another attempt on the left was defeated 
with loss, by the judicious advance of the artillery and infantry under 
Greene. At this moment of confusion, Wayne rushed forward with 
his artillery, and drove back the enemy to the ground they had occu- 
pied in the morning. Here the flanks were covered by morasses and 
thick woods, and their front w^as accessible only by a narrow passage 
but notwithstanding these difficulties, which were increased by tho 
heat of the day and the fatigue of the troops, Washington resolved 
immediately to renew the battle. The artillery was advanced and 
opened on the British flank. General Poor with his own brigade and 
that of North Carolina, was ordered to turn the right flank of the 
enemy, while Woodward's brigade was directed against their left. 
Unfortunately the impediments of the ground protracted the comple- 
tion of these dispositions until the approach of night, for which reason 
the action was discontinued with the intention of re-commencing it 
on the ensuing morning. The flanking brigades remainedilin their 
respective positions ; and V/ashington passed the night in his cloak, 
surrounded by his soldiers, who bivouacked on the battle field. 
During the night however the British silently decamped, and before 
daylight were so near the heights of Middletown as to render pursuit 

Both parties claimed a victory at Monmouth, but the advantages 
were undoubtedly with the Americans. Clinton effected his retreat 
and saved his baggage ; but the Americans, after the check of Lee's 
van, repulsed the en«emy, became in turn the assailants, and were 


only prevented from continuing the engagement, by the midnight 
retreat of the British. The American loss was eight officers, and 
sixty-one privates killed, and about one hundred and sixty wounded. 
The English army suffered more than double that amount, losing in 
the course of their retreat one hundred prisoners, and nearly one 
thousand deserters. 

For his behavior to Washington on the battle field, and subse- 
quently. General Lee was suspended from the army for a year. This 
ended his military career. 

The thanks of Congress were voted to Washington and his army 
for their conduct at Monmouth. " Never," says Lafayette, " was 
General Washington greater in war than in this action. His presence 
stopped the retreat ; his dispositions fixed the victory. His fine 
appearance on horseback — his calm courage, roused by the vexa- 
tion of the morning, gave him the interest calculated to excite 

Soon after the battle of Monmouth, the wisdom of the English 
commander in evacuating Philadelphia became apparent. Count 
D'Estaing appeared off the coast of Virginia with a fleet of twelve 
ships of the line and six frigates, having on board a respectable body 
of land troops. The original plan of these allies had been to attack 
the British naval force in the Delaware, and to unite with Washington 
in a general assault upon their lines at Philadelphia. A passage 
unusually tempestuous had defeated this well conceived plan, and 
probably saved the whole British force. The French fleet after- 
wards sailed for Newport. 

Some unimportant skirmishes took place in the autumn, but nothing 
of importance was effected until December, when the Americans 
retired into winter quarters, the main army occupying both sides of 
the North river about West Point, and at Middlebrook, New Jersey. 

The first enterprise proposed by Congress for the ensuing campaign, 
was a decisive movement against the western Indians. The settle- 
ment ^ Wyoming in Pennsylvania had been completely destroyed 
by a "rody of tories and savages under Colonel John Butler, and the 
Indian chief Brandt ; while in other parts, of the frontier the toma- 
hawk and scalping knife had been employed with such fearful 
barbarity as to render this expeclition of primary importance. The 
Onondagos and Six Nations were effectually chastised by Colonel 
Van Schaick and General Sullivan. \ 

In May, Sir Henry Clinton moved up the North river, threatened 
an invasion of the Eastern States, and captured Fort Fayette and 
Stony Point. The recapture of the latter place by General Wayne, 
was one of the most brilhant achievements of the revolution. 



EST POINT now became a most impor- 
tant post to the American cause, on 
account of its commanding the naviga- 
tion of the river. It was menaced by 
the British armament, and most proba- 
bly owed its safety to the prompt opera- 
tions of Washington, who had closely 
followed the enemy's movements, and 
so posted his army as to deter them 
from a further prosecution of the enter- 

No other event of great importance took place between the main 
armies this year. The Americans passed the winter, (1779-80,) 
near West Point and Middlebrook, the British in New York. The 
sufferings of the Americans during the winter were extreme. The 
army sometimes remained for several successive days without meat, 
and the pay was five months in arrear, with no prospect of .liquida- 
tion. Some of the Connecticut regiments mutinied ; and numbers 
were daily retiring at the expiration of their term of enlistment. By 
actual returns made on the 3d of June, the army under Washington's 
immediate control, included only three thousand seven hundred and 
fifty men fit for duty. On the 18th of the same month, by the 
return of Sir Henry Clinton, the British force in New York counted 
twelve thousand regulars ready for immediate action. 

The arrival of Count Rochambeau and his army in July, found 
the Americans not only unprepared for active operations, but with- 
out any certainty as to the strength of the expected forces of the 
states. An attack upon New York was planned, but not executed, 
and much to the mortification of Washington, the season passed 
away without any active operations. It will ever be noted, how^ever, 
for one event, perhaps the most singular, certainly the most unlooked 
for, of the whole war. This was the treason of Benedict Arnold. 

By his courage, fortitude, and active services, this officer had won 
the esteem of the nation, and was entrusted with the important com- 
mand of West Point. Pecuniary distress produced by thoughtless 
prodigality, led a mind not fortified by honorable principle into 
the crime of peculation. By the assistance of Major Andre, he 
carried on a clandestine intercourse with Clinton, but was frustrated 
in his plans, and obliged to fly. Major Andre was captured, and 
shared the fate which should have befallen Arnold. Perhaps no 
event of the whole war was so deeply painful to Washington as the 
fate of this unfortunate young man. 

The chivalrous generosity of Washington's character was exhibited 

60 WAS H I N G T O N. 

in a small incident connected with these transactions. Mrs. Arnold 
A\as left by her husband's flight in the most distressing agonies. 
Every effort was made to overtake the traitor ; but as soon as his 
escape was ascertained, the commander announced it to the unfortu- 
nate lady in a respectful message. It reflects honor on the American 
character, that at this moment of excitement Mrs, Arnold was allowed 
to proceed to Philadelphia, collect her husband's property and rejoin 
him in New York, not only without the least interruption or insult, 
but with all the assistance her convenience required. 

Early in December, the Americans retired into winter quarters 
near Morristown, and on the Hudson. A serious revolt in the Penn- 
sylvania line, [January, 1781,] threatened disastrous consequences, 
and was quelled with difficulty. 

In the spring, Arnold invaded Virginia, and after committing 
various devastations, was joined by Lord Cornwallis. Lafayette 
acted against them ; but his force was so small, that on one occasion, 
he escaped capture only by the most active manoeuvring. Cornwallis 
did not pursue his advantage, but retired, first to Portsmouth, and 
afterwards to Yorktown, which he proceeded to fortify. 

Meanwhile, active preparations were going on for a grand com- 
bined attack upon New York. That city was protected by a force 
of eleven thousand men under Sir Henry Clinton. The prospect of 
a blow which would finish the war, excited many of the states to 
new exertions in order to raise the required supplies. Such, how- 
ever, was the low ebb of public credit, that probably, but for a private 
citizen, the active preparations for the campaign would have been 
frustrated. That citizen was Robert Morris, a princely merchant, 
such as few countries have ever possessed, and one who united to 
immense wealth and credit, the talents and foresight of a statesman. 

It was soon ascertained, however, that the destination of the 
French fleet under Count de Grasse, was not New York, but the 
Chesapeake ; and numerous other events tended to damp the hopes 
of Washington. But he was soon relieved by intelligence of the 
brilliant success of General Greene in the south, and that Lord Corn- 
wallis had been driven into Yorktown. He therefore began to think 
seriously of changing his plan, and though still keeping up appear- 
ances before New York, to march rapidly toward Yorktown and 
capture Cornwallis before succor could reach him from the main 

The execution of this admirable plan was immediately commenced 
By various stratagems. Sir Henry was completely deceived, and 
even after the Americans had begun their march southward, imagined 
H to be but a feint for the purpose of drawing him from his position. 



The whole French force with more than two thousand continentals 
marched upon this expedition, leaving the defence of the Hudson to 
Major General Heath- 
After a personal interview with the Count de Grasse, during 
which the plan of attack was arranged, Washington, Rochambeau, 
and other officers proceeded towards Yorktown. On the 25th of 
December, 1781, the last division of the army landed in James 
River, and soon after the siege w^as commenced in form. Including 
mihtia, the besiegers numbered sixteen thousand men. 

York is a small town on the south side of a broad river of the 
same name, in which a ship of the line can lie in safety. On the 
north bank opposite to the town is Gloucester Point, a long neck of 
land running far into the river, and approaching within a mile of 
York. Both these positions were fortified by the British, and the 
communication between them preserved by batteries and vessels of 
war. The main army lay around York, under cover of redoubts and 
fiield works, while Lieutenant-Colonel Dundas with nearly seven hun- 
dred men occupied Gloucester. The French General de Chois6 was 
appointed to watch the latter place, and after a spirited action com- 
pelled the enemy to retire within their fortifications. 

On the 28th, the allies advanced by diiferent roads, to occupy the 
ground fixed upon. The British piquets and cavalry were driven in, 
and a further movement on the following day, induced Lord Corn- 
wallis to abandon his outer lines. These were occupied by the alKes, 
who thus completed the investment. On the night of the 6th of 
October, the trenches of the first parallel were commenced, vrithin 
six hundred yards of the works ; and by the 10th, several redoubts 
and batteries were completed. The fire of the besiegers then became 
so heavy that scarcely a shot was returned, and the Charon of forty- 
four guns, with three large transports, was destroyed by shells and 
red-hot balls. The high spirit of esteem and emulation existing 
between the allies, produced the most beneficial effects upon the 
activity of all the operations. On the night of the 1 1th, the distance 
between the belligerents was reduced one half, by the commence- 
ment of the second parallel ; but the fire of the garrison became 
destructive from several newly opened embrasures, and particularly 
from two advanced redoubts. On the 14th, one of these was stormed 
by the Americans under Lafayette, and the other by Baron Viominel 
and the French troops. Both works were carried without discharging 
a gun, and their cannon turned on the garrison. One hundred pieces 
of artillery were now ready to open on the following morning. 

Cornwallis was now in a most perilous situation ; his works were 
almost ruined, and he foresaw too plainly the terrible effects that 



would follow the opening- of such a train. On the evening of the 
1 6th, a sortie was attempted, for the purpose of destroying two bat- 
teries ; but the troops were compelled to retire without having 
effected any thing of importance. The enterprising commander 
then formed the daring resolution of abandoning his sick and wounded, 
crossing York river by night, routing de Chois6 at Gloucester Point, 

Surrender of Cornwallis. 

and pushing by forced marches for New York. This movement was 
in full progress, and part of the army had actually landed at Glou- 
cester, when a storm dispersed the boats, and compelled the return 
of the British general to his former desperate situation. 

On the following morning, (17th,) the garrison beat a parley, and 
negotiations commenced for a capitulation. On the 19th, both the 
British posts, with more than seven thousand men, and all the mili- 
tary stores, surrendered to General Washington. The shipping and 
seamen were yielded to the Count de Grasse. 

The total loss of the British in killed and wounded was about five 
hundred ; that of the Americans three hundred. 

The news of this event was received throughout the Union with a 
burst of exultation. Congress voted their thanks to General Wash- 
ington, Count Rochambeau and Count de Grasse, and their respective 


forces. Trophies weie voted to the three commanders, and a day 
of thanksgiving to Divine Providence appointed. The state legis- 
latures, and other public bodies, adopted similar resolutions. 

After the capture of Cornwallis, Washington returned with the 
American forces to New York, and the French troops remained in 
Virginia. The commander immediately urged upon Congress the 
necessity of making active preparations to improve the late important 
victory, so as to finish the war in the following campaign. The 
same difficulties, however, which had ever cramped the movements 
of that body, continued to operate — want of funds, want of credit, 
want of energy. Notwithstanding the faithful exhortations of Wash- 
ington, the year 1782 passed away in absolute idleness ; and a 
feeling was daily gaining ground that the war would soon be brought 
to a close. 

An event of secondary interest, which occurred just before the 
close of the war, deserves mention, inasmuch as it not only exhibits 
the popular feeling at that time, but also places in a strong light, the 
cautious vigilance of Washington, whenever the safety of his people 
required it. 

An association of American refugees had been formed by Sir Henry 
Clinton, for the purpose of retaliating on the Americans, and reim- 
bursing their losses sustained during the war. A party of these 
captured Captain Joshua Huddy, and after keeping him in close 
custody for nineteen days, hung him under circumstances of aggra- 
vated cruelty. Washington immediately wrote to Sir Henry Clinton, 
demanding the murderers under penalty of retaliation. This was 
refused, and lots were cast between the British prisoners for a subject 
of retaliation. The lot fell upon Captain Asgill, a young man but 
twenty years of age, of respectable family, and considerable acquire- 
ments. Meanwhile Sir Guy Carleton assumed command of the 
British forces, and a court-martial was appointed for the trial of 
Captain Lippencott, who was supposed to be the principal agent in 
executing Huddy. As it appeared that this individual acted under 
orders from the associate royalists, and not from malice or ill will, he 
was acquitted. Soon after. Sir Guy broke up the society of refugees, 
and thus removed the probability of future retaliation. Washington 
however still persisted in his determination, although he allowed the 
unfortunate Asgill every amelioration which his circumstances de- 

Some months after the execution of Huddy, Washington received 
a letter from the Count de Yergennes interceding for Captain Asgill, 
which was accompanied by a pathetic one from his mother, Mrs. 
Asgill. The French king and queen, also interceded for him. Copies 





Captain AsgilL 

of these letters were forwarded to Congress, who soon after resolved 
that the commander-in-chief be directed to set Captam Asgill at 
liberty. Accordingly, after having received every indulgence, the 
captain was permitted to join his friends in New York. 

Early in 1783 a definite treaty of peace, acknowledging the inde- 
pendence of the United States, was signed by Great Britain, and 
transmitted by Dr. Franklin to America. Washington proclaimed 
it to the army in April, just eight years after the battle of Lexington. 
America had achieved her independence, but dangers more formidable 
than a struggle with Britain now stared her in the face. Hitherto 
common dangers had produced general interests ; now this tie no 
longer existed ; and, destitute of a national government, or mutual 
credit, the avenues to dissension and civil war were flung widely 
open. Happily, the confidence of the people in the great man who 
had successfully conducted them through the war of independence, 



Mount 'Vernon. 

was unshaken ; and on him all classes now leaned, as the supporting 
pillar of the new republic. 

On the 4th of December, at the city of New York, Washington 
took leave of his long-tried army. Its disbandment by a government 
unable to settle arrears, or to furnish a single month's pay in order 
to transport the soldiers to their homes, forms one of the most re- 
markable events of our history. But the beloved name of Washing 
ton calmed every murmur, and cheered every heart. His own 
emotions on the occasion were too strong to be concealed. Tears 
stood in every eye, and not a word disturbed the solemnity of the 
sublime spectacle : then, after parting with the officers, the war-worn 
commander embarked in a barge and waved his hat : the assembled 
veterans answered with the same respectful and affectionate farewell, 
and returned to their homes in silent melancholy. 

After resigning his office as commander-in-chief of the army 
(December 23d), Washington retired to Mount Vernon, followed by 
the veneration and love of his grateful countrymen. " I feel myself 
eased," was his language on this occasion, " of a'^load of public care, 
and hope to spend the remainder of my days in cultivating the affec- 
tions of all good men, and in the practice of domestic virtue." 

Here, on the banks of the Potomac, amid the scenes of his youth- 
ful enjoyments, Washington desired to pass the residue of his life. 
Resolutions, letters, votes of esteem, etc., from all parts of the Union, 
continually disturbed, however, the quiet of his retirement. Unani- 
mous votes for the erection of his statue were adopted both by Con- 
gress and the Virginia legislature, and the latter presented him with 


one hundred and fifty shares in a public improvement ; but the gift 
was declined, otherwise than as a trust for the general welfare. 

When the situation of the country imperatively demanded a change 
of government, Washington was chosen president of the convention 
which assembled at Philadelphia to frame a constitution. When 
this instrument was adopted, all eyes were turned upon Washington 
as the first president, each feeling that without him the great experi- 
ment of free government would be but a feeble attempt. " It is to 
little purpose," remarked Alexander Hamilton, " to introduce a 
system, if the weightiest influence is not given to its firm establish- 
ment in the outset." 

On the 14th of April, 1789, his unanimous election was announced 
to the president at Mount Vernon. He heard it with unfeigned 
regret, but did not consider that his love of private life' should inter- 
fere with so solemn a call from his country. The state of his mind 
at setting out for the capital, is displayed by the following extract 
from his diary. " About ten o'clock I bade adieu to Mount Vernon, 
to private life, and to domestic felicity, with a mind oppressed with 
more anxious and painful sensations than I have words to express." 

On the 30th of April his inauguration took place. 

The administration of Washington was marked by great and stir- 
ring events. It completed the foundation of the United States, gave 
her union at home, and respectability abroad. Every department 
leaned on the president, and officers and people received his opinions 
and views as oracles. He restored revenue to his country, and laid 
the basis of its treasury ; tamed the Indians of the west, and united 
all parties into a neutrality with respect to the European powers. 
When the French revolution broke out, he alone saved the country 
from a war in which it was eager to rush, and which, in all human 
probability, would have sealed its destruction. When Genet would 
have frustrated his caution by appealing from the president to the 
people, he awed him into silence by the dignity of his deportment. 
This was the most delicate period of his life. Sympathy with a 
gallant ally, who was supposed to be struggling for th-at independence 
which she had helped us to gain, had created a strong party favorable 
to France, who regarded any position short of actual warfare with 
her rival, as ungrateful and dishonorable. At the same time the 
mercantile community loudly complained of their embarrassed com- 
merce ; the west threatened disunion because they were barred from 
the natural outlet of their produce ; while the insurrectionary resist- 
ance to the excise law in Pennsylvania was subdued only by military 

Amid all these diflliculties the President remained firm, neither 



swayed by the insults of Genet on one siae, nor the clamors against 
England on the other. Time justified his policy. A treaty of amity 
was negotiated with Great Britain by Mr. Jay ; another with Algiers , 
and a third with Spain, settling, the important points of boundary and 
the Mississippi question. France still continued refractory. 

In 1796, the second term of President Washington expired, and 
no argument could induce him to accept of a re-election. After the 
inauguration of his successor, Mr. Adams, (March 4th, 1797,) he 
retired from the arena of public life. 

Washington died December 15th, 1799, of an inflammatory sore 
throat, caused by exposure to a slight rain. When the solemn hour 
drew nigh, he with much difficulty addressed his friend Dr. Craik, 
" Doctor, I am dying, and I have been dying for a long time, but I am 
not afraid to die." 

The intelligence of this melancholy event produced a sensation 
throughout the Union, greater than that ever experienced on any 
other similar occasion. Congress immediately adjourned. The 
speaker's chair was shrouded in black, and the members wore 
mourning during the remainder of the session. An immense con- 
course of citizens attended his funeral. Congress passed resolutions 
declaring him " first in war, first in peace, first in the hearts of his 
fellow citizens." "On this occasion," said the address of the Senate, 
" it is manly to weep ; to lose such a man, at such a crisis, is no 
common calamity to the world. Our country mourns a father. The 
Almighty Disposer of human events, has taken from us our greatest 
benefactor and ornament. It becomes us to submit with reverence 
to Him, who maketh the darkness his pavilion." 

The remains of Washington were deposited, according to his 
request, in the old family vault at Mount Vernon. They were at 
first enclosed in a leaden coffin, but were subsequently placed (Octo- 
ber 8th, 1837,) in a beautiful marble sarcophagus, constructed at his 
own cost, by Mr. Struthers, of Philadelphia. 

The tomb of Washington deserves a passing notice. It consists 
of a simple excavation in a sloping hill, which has a southern 

Sarcophagus of WashingtOD. 



Lid of Sarcophagus. 

exposure upon a thickly wooded dell. The walls are built of brick, 
and arched over at the height of eight feet above the level of the 
ground. The front of the tombstone is rough-cast, and has a plain 
iron door inserted m a strong freestone casement. Over the door is 
placed a sculptured stone panel, upon which are inscribed these 
words : — 


Old Tomb of WasMngton. 

At a small distance from the walls of the tomb, and surrounding 
it on all sides, there is an enclosure of brick-work, elevated to a 
height of twelve feet, and guarded in front by an iron gateway. 



opening several feet in advance of the vault door. Upon a plain 
slab, inserted in the brick-vi^ork over this grate is sculptured : 


Washington possessed a fine person, a stature above the common 
size, and a deportment easy, erect and noble. He was the best 
horseman of his age, and the most graceful figure to be seen on 
horseback. To these advantages he united a constitution vigorous 
and capable of enduring the greatest fatigue. 

But it was the mind of Washington, which rendered him immor- 
tal. If the greatness of human character is to be estimated, by the 
solid monuments it has raised, there is no name in all history to 
compare with his. If asked how national independence was achieved ; 
how our distressed armies could escape the foe's superiority, and 
finally triumph, we would point to the valor and prudence of the 
commander-in-chief. To his virtue, firmness and wisdom, are due the 
foundation and successful impulse of republican government whose 
benefits will be felt, long after men have ceased to admire its splendor 
and wonderful conception. " His character," says Jefferson, "was in 
its mass perfect, in nothing bad, in few points indifferent ; and it 
may truly be said that never did nature and fortune combine more 
perfectly to make a man great, and to place him in the same con- 
stellation with whatever worthies have merited from mankind an 
everlasting remembrance." So Mr. Adams : — " The example of 
Washington is now complete ; it will teach wisdom and virtue to 
magistrates, citizens, and men, not only in the present age, but in 
future generations, as long as our history shall be read." 

Nt^w Tomb of WasMngton. 



third son of Thomas Montgomery, was born 
in 1737, or, according to Armstrong, on the 
2d of December, 1736, at " Convoy House," 
near Raphoe, in the north of Ireland. Little 
is known of his early life. When quite young 
he was placed at Dublin College, where he 
acquired a good education. On account of the unsettled state of 
Europe at that time, the principal sphere of distinction was the army, 
and in accordance with the wishes of his father, Montgomery entered, 
it at the age of eighteen. 

America was the field in which General Montgomery first distin- 
guished himself as a practical soldier. The losses of the English in 
the old French war, had led to a change of cabinet, and under the 
auspices of the new one, Montgomery's regiment was ordered to 
America, to take part in the expedition against Louisburg. They 



sailed in 1757, and early in the following year assembled at Halifax, 
preparatory to embarking for Louisburg. On the 28th of May, a 
large naval and military force under General Amherst and Admiral 
Boscavi^en sailed from Halifax, and landed on Cape Breton Island on 
the 8th of June. The landing was effected in boats, amid a heavy 
fire from the French batteries. The division of General Wolfe 
reached the shore first, routed a party of the enemy, and covered the 
embarkment of the remainder of the army. In this affair Mont- 
gomery behaved so bravely, as not only to receive the warmest com- 
mendations of the commander, but the immediate appointment to a 

The siege of the fortress was conducted in a desultory and unscien- 
tific manner. Most of the troops were but New England militia, 
strangers to discipline and military operations ; and it is more than 
probable, that even notwithstanding the paucity and sickness of the 
garrison, the expedition would have been a failure, but for the cow- 
ardice and inefficiency of the French commandant. On the 27th of 
July, the garrison of five thousand men surrendered a stronghold 
on which years of labor, and immense sums of money had been 
expended, and which was called the Gibraltar of America. During 
this whole siege, Montgomery fully maintained the high opinion 
formed of him at its commencement. His knowledge of military 
tactics, appears to have been almost intuitive. 

Upon the reception of news of Abercrombie's defeat at Ticonderoga, 
General Amherst hurried on a portion of his army to assist in retriev- 
ing that disaster. Montgomery was in this division, and with his 
fellow officers remained near Lake Champlain until the surrender 
of Montreal, in 1760. 

In the subsequent expeditions of the troops against Martinico 
and Havana, Montgomery maintained his reputation for skill and 
bravery, and amid all the calamities which attended the soldiers in a 
tropical climate, he endeared himself to his command by the kindness 
and compassion with which he administered to their wants 

At the close of the war, Montgomery was permitted to return to 
Europe, where he remained until 1772. Toward the close of that 
year, he resigned the service, sailed for America, and arrived in 
New York in the following January. He purchased a farm in the 
neighborhood of that city, but soon afterward removed to Duchess 
county, where for a long time he devoted himself to the pursuit of 
agriculture. While at the former place he married the eldest daugh- 
ter of R. R. Livingston, one of the judges of the Supreme Court of 
the province, and subsequently member of the Continental Congress. 

As the dispute between England and her colonies had now^ become 


serious, it was impossible for an individual circumstanced like Mont- 
gomery to remain neutral. Accordingly, he took a decided part for 
the cause of freedom, and in April, 1775, he was elected to represent 
Duchess county in the delegation to the first New York provincial 
convention. The labors of the convention seem to have been rather 
tedious and unsatisfactory, and finally resulted in little good to the 
cause to espouse which they had convened. 

^OON after the meeting of this body, Mont- 
gomery received a more highly important 
office than any that had hitherto fallen 

> * I '^^mw/ ^ '\ ^^ ^^i^ lo*» ^^^ *^^^' ^00' ^^ which he had 

^^^^ little expectation. In June, the Continental Con- 

gress appointed four major, and eight brigadier 
generals, naming among the latter Montgomery. 
His surprise at the news of this flattering distinc- 
tion was equalled by his modest though heartfelt 
acknowledgment of it ; and with the acceptance of that commission 
commenced his brief but glorious career in the cause of freedom. 

The name of Montgomery is inseparably blended with the history 
of the expedition against Quebec. That disastrous campaign was a 
sad proof of the necessity of experience among the leaders of so im- 
portant and novel a movement as the war of independence. It was 
undertaken upon insufficient data, and, as a necessary consequence, 
all its movements were desultory, and almost entirely controlled by 
circumstances. Congress was led to plan the invasion for several 
reasons. The population of Canada was mostly French, and not ill 
disposed either to assert their own independence, or to join the move- 
ments of their southern brethren. The Indians of the province were 
far more numerous than the whites, and would take part with the 
strongest side ; and in addition to these, the contiguity of Canada to 
the colonies, afiTorded the British an excellent entrance into New York 
and New England, which it was highly important to close. Had the 
information of Congress been ample and correct, and their means 
sufficient to meet their plans, there is little doubt but that the expe- 
dition would have been crowned with success. 

The army was to enter Canada by two routes. Its first division, 
consisting of three thousand men, was to proceed up the Sorel 
against Forts St. John and Chamblee, and then crossing the St. 
Lawrence, to capture Montreal ; while a thousand men, composing 
the second portion, were to march along the Kennebec to its head, 
then across the country to Quebec in time to effect a union with the 
main army, preparatory to a simultaneous attack upon that city. 
The whole was commanded by Major General Schuyler. 



General Montgomery commanded the 
first of these divisions, and repaired to 
Ticonderoga on the 17th of August. He 
here learned that Sir Guy Carleton, the 
mihtary governor of Canada, was preparing 
a naval force destined to act on Lake Cham- 
plain, and whose object was, to prevent the 
crossing of the American troops after they 
should have arrived at the St. Lawrence. 
As immediate action was now of vital im- 
portance, he determined to take posses- 
sion of the Isle Aux Noix in the lake, and wrote to General 
Schuyler, signifying his intention to that effect, and entreating his 
immediate presence. Without awaiting the arrival of this com- 
mander, he selected about one thousand men, and two pieces of 
cannon, and embarked on the lake, August 26th. The weather was 
so boisterous that he was not able to reach the island before the 5th 
of September, on which day he was joined by Major General Schuyler, 
who determined upon a nearer approach to the enemy, both with a 
view of reconnoitering their position, and of enlisting the esteem and 
confidence of the population. This manoeuvre was signally success- 
ful, the army landing within about a mile and a half of St. Johns 
without encountering opposition. The troops were soon formed and 
marched toward the fort. In this movement, while fording a creek, 
they met with a party of Indians, who fired upon their left, and 
threw it into disorder. But Montgomery hastened forward with the 
other troops, and speedily repulsed the assailants with some loss. 

The same night Schuyler received important information from 
an individual, to all appearances friendly : — whether he was so or 
not was never ascertained, but his account was afterwards found to 
be widely different from the truth. He stated that the British had 
but one regular corps in Canada, who, with the exception of fifty 
men at Montreal, were stationed at St. Johns and Chamblee ; that 
these forts were strongly fortified and abundantly supplied ; that one 
hundred Indians were at the former, and a large body under Colonel 
Johnson at some other station ; that the vessel intended for the lake, 
carrying sixteen guns, would sail in three or four days ; that the 
American army need expect nothing from the Canadians, their wish 
being to remain neutral, provided, their persons and property were 
respected, and all articles furnished by them or taken from them, 
paid for in gold or silver ; that an attack upon St. Johns would, under 
present circumstances, be imprudent, and that it would be proper to 
return to the Isle Aux Noix, as, from that point, a communication 



with the inhabitants of Laprairie might be usefully opened. Every 
item of this information was incorrect. Most of the Canadians were 
well disposed toward the Americans, and, until some unfortunate 
conduct of our army, considerable numbers joined it : two regiments 
were in Canada instead of one, and no large body of Indians had 
any where assembled. 

The intelligence was submitted to a council of war, who agreed 
with the commander in thinking a return to the island expedient. 
Here General Schuyler's increasing ill health rendered him unfit for 
service, and he retired to Ticonderoga, leaving the command of the 

Euins of Fort Ticonderoga. 

expedition with General Montgomery. In his report to Congress 
he speaks thus of the latter officer. " I cannot estimate the obliga- 
tions I lie under to General Montgomery for the many important 
services he has done and daily does, and in which he has had little 
assistance from me, as I have not enjoyed a moment's health since I 
left Fort George, and am now so low as not to be able to hold the 
pen. Should we not be able to do any thing decisively in Canada, 
I shall judge it best to move from this place, which is a very wet 
and unhealthy part of the country ; unless I receive your orders to 
the contrary." 


ONTGOMERY remained at the island only 
long enough to receive a reinforcement of 
men and a few pieces of artillery. He then 
re-embarked, again landed at St. Johns, and 
commenced operations for its investure 
On the 18th of September, he marched with 
a party of five hundred men to the north of 
the fort, w^here he met a considerable portion of the garrison return- 
ing from a repulse of an American party under Major Brown. A 
skirmish ensued, which in a few minutes terminated in the repulse 
of the enemy, who fled in disorder. But for a timidity among the 
Americans, the whole party might have been captured. In speaking 
of his men, General Montgomery says, " As soon as we saw the 
enemy, the old story of treachery spread among the men ; and the 
cry was, we are trepanned and drawn under the guns of the fort. 
The woodsmen were less expert in forming than I had expected, and 
too many of them hung back. Had we kept more silence w^e should 
have taken a field piece or two." 

Montgomery now determined to push the siege of St. Johns with 
all possible vigor. In order to cut off" supplies, he established a camp 
at the junction of the two roads leading to Chamblee and Montreal, 
and defended it with a ditch, and a garrison of three hundred men. 
But he was surrounded with difficulties. His artillery was so light 
as to make little impression upon the walls, and the artillerists were 
raw and unskilful. Besides, his ammunition was almost exhausted, 
and the engineer was as ignorant of duty as were the artillerists. 
To all these was added another difficulty far greater than the rest, — 
his men, through constant exposure to a damp soil and unhealthy 
climate, and unused to the rules of war, had become insubordinate, 
and even mutinous ; and the circumstances in which the commander 
was placed, eflHectually prevented him from enforcing discipline 
This feeling was openly exhibited in an attempt of the general to 
remove the seat of his active operations to the north side of the to'WTi ; 
and so palpable were its demonstrations that he was forced to com. 
promise with professional dignity, and submit his own opinion to that 
of a board of officers. They refused to accede to his plan, and it 
was for the time abandoned. Subsequently, however, their consent 
was obtained, and a position taken to the north-west of the fort. 

Meanwhile an event took place, as fortunate as it was unexpected, 
and whose success decided the fate of the garrison. A gentleman 
from New York, named James Livingston, had resided for a consider- 
able time in Canada, and by a proper course of conduct had won the 
esteem of a larare number of the inhabitants. As he was known to 



Sir Guy Carleton. 

be favorable to the cause of liberty, Montgomery determined to 
employ his popularity in service to himself. Accordingly, at the 
instigation of the general, he organized a number of the inhabitants 
into an armed corps, promising the protection of Congress to all 
their movements. In company with Major Brown, he speedily made 
himself master of Fort Chamblee, including all the garrison, one 
hundred and twenty-six barrels of gunpowder, and a large amount 
of military and other stores. Governor Carleton now found it expe- 
dient to leave Montreal, where he had remained during the siege of 
St. Johns, and attempt deceiving his enemy by manoeuvring in open 
field His force was small, and divided by factions. It was princi- 
pally composed of disaffected militia, with some Scotch emigrants, 
and may be estimated at about twelve hundred men. On the 31st 
of October he crossed the St. Lawrence opposite Longueil, whence 
he determined, after mustering his forces, to march against the 
besieging army. 


The movements of Sir Guy, though conducted witn considerable 
secrecy, did not escape the vigilant eye of Montgomery, who had 
for some time expected such a proceeding. He had previously 
ordered Warner to take a position with two regiments on the Longueil 
road, ordering him to patrol that route carefully and frequently, as 
far as the St. Lawrence ; to report daily to the commanding general 
such information as he might be able to obtain ; and lastly, to attack 
any party of the enemy indicating an intention of moving in the direc- 
tion of the American camp, or in that of the Scotch emigrants. 
Warner arrived at Longueil on the morning of the same day that 
Carleton was preparing to cross, but did not display his forces until 
the British had nearly reached the shore. He then suddenly opened 
upon them with both musketry and artillery, killing many of the 
soldiers, and scattering and disabling the boats. By a most fortu- 
nate coincidence, Livingston, Brown and Easton at the same time 
approached the only station of Carleton south of the St. Lawrence, 
commanded by M' Clean, who broke up his position in despair, and 
embarking hastily, descended the river towards Quebec. 

The intelligence of these gratifying events was immediately com- 
municated to General Montgomery, who presented them in a written 
form to the commandant at St. Johns, urging the impossibility of his 


deriving relief from Carleton, and the useless waste of blood and 
treasure that must attend a further prolongation of the siege. After 
proper consideration the garrison surrendered. 

Montgomery now determined upon a rapid movement on Montreal, 
but was much impeded in his operations by the disaffection of his 
troops, who claimed immediate discharge. He finally compromised 
with them by promising their discharge at Montreal ; and then moved 
rapidly upon the city, where he displayed so bold a front that on the 
12th of November it surrendered. He thus obtained possession of 
all the armed force and different stores of the town, together with 
eleven vessels and their armaments in the harbor. Previous to this, 
General Carleton had retreated to his fleet, with the hope of making 
his escape through that avenue ; but finding this impossible, he 
entered a small boat with muffled oars, and, under cover of a dark 
night, passed through the American fleet and batteries without being 
perceived, and hurried on towards Quebec. His escape was the ruin 
of the Canadian expedition. 

Part of the plan had thus been successful, but the advantages 
gained showed more distinctly the difficulties that were to follow. 
Unexpected fortune had placed Montreal at the disposal of the in- 
vaders, but the strongest city of Am.erica was yet in possession of 
their enemy, and its capture was absolutely indispensable to the 
subjugation of the province. The following extracts from a letter to 
R. R. Livingston, then member of Congress, are a faithful picture of 
the embarrassments under which he labored. 

" I need not tell you that till Quebec is taken, Canada is uncon- 
quered ; and that to accomplish this, we must resort to siege, invest- 
ment, or storm. The first of these is out of the question, from the 
difficulty of making trenches in a Canadian winter, and the greater 
difficulty of living in them if we could make them ; secondly, from 
the nature of the soil, which, as I am at present instructed, renders 
mining impracticable, and were this otherwise, from the want of an 
engineer having sufficient skill to direct the process ; and thirdly, 
from the fev^mess and lightness of our artillery, which is quite unfit 
to break walls like those of Quebec. Investment has fewer objections, 
and might be sufficient were we able to shut out entirely from the 
garrison and town the necessary supplies of food and fuel during the 
winter ; but to do this well, (the enemy's works being very extensive 
and offering many avenues to the neighboring settlements,) will 
require a large army ; and from present appearances mine will not, 
when brought together, much, if at all, exceed eight hundred com- 
batants. Of Canadians I might be able to get a considerable number, 
provided I had hard money with which to clothe and feed them, and 



pay their wages : but this is wanting. Unless, therefore, I am soon 
and amply reinforced, investment, like siege, must be given up. 

O the storming plan, there 
are fewer objections; and 
to this we must come at 
last. If my force be small, 
Carleton's is not great 
The extensiveness of his 
works, which in case cf 
investment, would favor 
him, will in the other 
case favor us. Masters 
of our secret, we may 
select a particular time 
and place for attack, and 
to repel this, the garrison 
must be prepared at all 
times and places ; a cir- 
cumstance which will im- 
pose upon it incessant watching, and labor by day and by night, 
which, in its undisciplined state, must breed discontents that may 
compel Carleton to capitulate, or perhaps to make an attempt to 
drive us off. In this last idea there is a glimmering of hope. Wolfe's 
success was a lucky hit, or rather a series of such hits. All sober 
and scientific calculation was against him until Montcalm, permitting 
his courage to get the better of his discretion, gave up the advantages 
of his fortress and came out to try his strength on the plain. Carle- 
ton, who was Wolfe's quartermaster-general, understands this w^ell, 
and it is to be feared, will not follow the Frenchman's example. In 
all these views you will discover much uncertainty ; but of one thing 
you may be sure, that unless we do something before the middle of 
April, the game will be up ; because, by that time the river may open 
and let in supplies and reinforcements to the garrison, in spite of 
anything we can do to prevent it ; and again, because my troops are 
not engaged beyond that term, and will not be prevail'?d upon to stay 
a day longer. In reviewing what I have said, you will find that my 
list of wants is a long one ; men, money, artillery, and clothing accom- 
modated to the climate. Of ammunition, Carleton took care to leave 
little behind him at this place. What I wish and expect, is, that all 
this be made known to Congress, with a full assurance that if I fail 
to execute their wishes or commands, it will not be from any negli- 
gence of duty or infirmity of purpose on my part." 

On the 19th of November, the division of General Arnold crossed 


the St. Lawrence, and was joined by Montgomery, December 4th. 
The American commander now sent in a summons to General Carle- 
ton, in which every argument that could affect his fear or humanity 
was used to induce him to surrender. The flag was fired, upon and 
returned. The Americans afterwards conveyed the summons to the 
garrison, but Carleton remained firm in his purpose to resist. Mont- 
gomery then opened five small mortars upon the lower part of the 
city, but with little effect ; and the same result attended the use of 
a six gun battery. Anxious to wipe away the disgraceful impression 
which these petty attacks were making, both upon- the Canadians 
and his own soldiers, he summoned a council, and submitted to them 
the following questions : " Shall we attempt the reduction of Quebec 
by a night attack ? If so, shall the lower town be the point attacked ?" 
These questions were decided aflirmatively. 

This resolution may be aptly styled a law of necessity, for success 
was barely possible. He was led to it, not only from the impatience 
of his own troops, but in order to meet the expectations of the colo- 
nies, who, looked to him for the capture of the capital, and speedy 
reduction of the province. They understood, however, little of 
Montgomery's difficulties. The ' upper town' was strongly fortified, 
and separated from the remaining portion by steep heights, which 
rendered passage from one to the other almost impossible. The 
garrison consisted of about two hundred and seventy marines and 
regulars, eight hundred militia, and four hundred and fifty seamen. 

The siege had been carried on for some time without any effect, 
when Montgomery determined upon an assault. The morning was 
ushered in by a fall of snow. The general divided his little force 
into four detachments. Colonel Livingston, at the head of the 
Canadians, was directed to make a feint against St. John's gate ; and 
Major Brown another, against Cape Diamond, in the upper town ; 
while the commander and Arnold were to advance against the lower 
town, — the first object of real attack. Montgomery led the first 
division, by the river road, which was so obstructed by snow and 
masses of ice, as to render his progress very difficult. The first 
barrier was rapidly carried, and the troops after a moment's pause 
pushed on toward the second. He assisted with his own hands in 
pulling up some pickets which hindered the march. Near this place 
a barrier had been made across the road, and from the windows of a 
low house which formed part of it, were planted two cannon. At his 
appearing upon a little rising ground at the distance of about twenty 
or thirty yards, the guns were discharged, and the general with his 
two aid-de-camps fell dead. The division immediately retreated, as 
did that of Arnold, upon hearing of the fall of their commander. 


DeatJi of Montgomery. 

When the corpse of Montgomery was shown to Carleton, the heart 
of that noble officer melted. They had served in the same regiment 
under Wolfe, and the most friendly relation, existed between them, 
throughout the whole of the French war. The Lieutenant-Governor 
of Quebec, Mr. Cramche, ordered him a coffin, and friends and ene- 
mies united in expressions of sorrow, as his remains were conducted 
to their final resting place. 

At his death, General Montgomery was in the first month of his 
thirty-ninth year. He was a man of great military talents, whose 
measures were taken with judgment and executed with vigor. He 
shared all the hardships of his troops, and though they had been un- 
used to discipline, and many of them were jealous of their commander, 
he prevented their complaints by timely measures, and inspired them 
with his own enthusiasm. His industry could not be wearied, his 
vigilance imposed upon, nor his courage intimidated. Above the 
pride of opinion, when a measure was adopted by the majority, he 
gave it his full support, even though contrary to his own judgment. 

The following remarks on the character of General Montgomery 
are extracted from Ramsay's History of the American Revolution. 

' Few men have ever fallen in battle so much regretted on both 
sides as General Montgomery. His many amiable qualities had pro- 
cured him an uncommon share of private afi'ection ; and his great 
abilities an equal proportion of public esteem. Being a sincere lover 



of liberty, he had engaged in the American cause from principle, and 
quitted the enjoyment of an easy fortune, and the highest domestic 
felicity, to take an active share in the fatigues and dangers of a war 
instituted for the defence of the community of which he was an 
adopted member. His well known character was almost equally 
esteemed by the friends and foes of the side which he had espoused. 
In America he was celebrated as a martyr to the liberties of mankind ; 
in Great Britain, as a misguided good man, sacrificing to what he 
supposed to be the rights of his country. His name was mentioned 
in Parliament with singular respect. Some of the most powerful 
speakers in that assembly displayed their eloquence in sounding his 
praise and lamenting his fate. Those in particular who had been his 
fellow soldiers in the previous war, expatiated on his many virtues. 
The minister himself acknowledged his worth, while he reprobated 
the cause for which he fell. He concluded an involuntary panegyric 
by saying, ' Curse on his virtues, they have undone his country.' " 

" In this brief story of a short and useful life," says Mr. Arm- 
strong, in his memoir of Montgomery, " we find all the elements 
which enter into the composition of a great man and distinguished 
soldier ; ' a happy physical organization, combining strength and 
activity, and enabling its possessor to encounter laborious days and 
sleepless nights, hunger and thirst, all changes of weather, and every 
variation of climate.' To these corporeal advantages was added a 
mind, cool, discriminating, energetic, and fearless ; thoroughly ac- 
quainted with mankind, not uninstructed in the literature and sciences 
of the day, and habitually directed by a high and unchangeable moral 
sense. That a man so constituted, should have won 'the golden 
opinions' of friends and foes, is not extraordinary. The most elo- 
quent men of the British Senate became his panegyrists ; and the 
American Congress hastened to testify for him, ' their grateful 
remembrance, profound respect, and high veneration.' A monument 
to his memory was accordingly erected, on which might justly be 
mscribed the impressive lines of the poet : 

' Brief, brave, and glorious was his young career ; 
His mourners were two hosts, his friends and foes ; 
And fitly may the stranger, lingering here. 
Pray for his gallant spirit's bright repose ; 
For he was Freedom's champion, one of those, 
The few in number, who had not o'erstept 
The charter to chastise, which she bestows 
On such as wield her weapons ; he had kept 
The whiteness of his soul, and thus men o'er him wept.' 

The monument, above referred to, which is of white marble, was 



placed in front of St. Paul's church, New York. It bears the follow- 
ing inscription : 



By order of Congress, 25th January, 1776, 




patriotism:, conduct, enterprize and perseverance 






31st December, 1775. Aged 38 years. 

The remains of General Montgomery, after resting forty-two 
years at Quebec, were, by a resolution of the New York legislature, 
brought to the city of New York, on the 8th of July, 1818, and 
deposited with dignified solemnity, near the monument. 

Montgomeiy's Monuraent. 



ERVICES such as 
those of the Baron 
Steuben, during our 
struggle with Great 
Britain, are justly 
considered as among 
the very highest that 
could be rendered by 
any officer in that 
trying period. In this 
light they were re- 
garded by Washington ; and their best eulogy is a comparison of the 
condition of the American army at the close of the war, with what 
it had been at its commencement. 

Frederic William Augustus, Baron de Steuben, was born in Ger 
many, about the year 1730 or '33. The history of his youth is 
unknown. He served with Frederic the Great in the seven years 
war, possessed the entire confidence of that monarch, and became 
his aid-de-camp, and lieutenant-general in the Prussian army. This 
fact is sufficient to establish his military character, and knowledge 
of tactics ; and he was ever regarded by the Prussian government 
as one of their most able officers. After the close of the war, he 

• 88 


filled various offices in Germany, principally under the smaller princes, 
and v^^as tendered a command in the army of Austria, which he 
refused. At the commencement of the war between Great Britain 
and her colonies, he was in a condition of gentlemanly affluence. 

In 1777, while on a visit to England, he stopped at Paris for the 
purpose of having an interview with the Count St. Germain, the 
French minister of war, and one of his intimate friends. Soon after 
he was waited on by Colonel Pagenstecher, on behalf of the Count, 
who informed him that the latter desired a personal interview at the 
Paris arsenal, on matters of importance. It is well known, that 
France was then secretly aiding the Americans both by advice and 
military stores ; and it was with a view of enlisting the Baron in the 
cause of freedom, that the proposed interview was sought. At the 
meeting, St. Germain represented the ultimate prospects of the colo- 
nists as flattering ; that France, and probably Spain, would eventu- 
ally aid th^m ; but that their army needed disciplinarians, vhich 
want the Baron could well supply. These proposals were seconded 
by the Spanish consul and two French noblemen; but the Baron 
refused to give a decisive answer, until an interview could be obtained 
with the American envoys. The latter were unable to give the 
assurances required, and after abandoning his intention of visiting 
England, Steuben soon after returned to Germany. On his arrival 
at Rastadt he found letters from the Count, informing him that a 
vessel was about sailing for America, in which he could immediately 
embark, with a prospect of having every difficulty satisfactorily 
adjusted. Having received from Dr. Franklin, letters of recommen- 
dation to General Washington and the President of Congress, he 
embarked on the 26th of September, 1777, under an assumed name, 
and after a rough voyage landed at Portsmouth, N. H., December 1st. 

His first care was to address his recommendations to General 
Washington, at the same time requesting admission into the service. 
The close of his letter is worthy of preservation. " I could say 
moreover, were it not for the fear of offending your modesty, that 
your excellency is the only person under whom, after having served 
under the king of Prussia, I could wish to pursue an art to which I 
have wholly given up myself." Washington referred him to Con- 
gress, as the only body empowered to accept his services, and accord- 
ingly, in February, he laid his papers before that body. A committee 
of five was appointed to wait upon him. In his interview with them, 
the Baron stated what he had left to engage in the American ser- 
vice, offered them his services without any other remuneration than 
the amount of expenses ; but, that while he expected no reward 
should the final result be unsuccessful, yet in case of the Americans 



Araerican Army at Valley Forge. 

gaining their independence, he would expect an indemnity for the 
offices he had resigned in Europe, and a reward proportionate to his 
services. Congress returned him thanks for this disinterested offer, 
and requested him to join the army. 

The American main body was at that time wintered near Valley 
Forge. The sufferings endured by the troops, their privations and 
diseases during that terrible winter, were long remembered as forming 
the darkest page of our revolutionary history. At sight of them, the 
astonishment of one who had been accustomed to the well provided 
armies of Europe, may be conceived ; and Steuben declared that 
under such circumstances no foreign army could be kept together a 
single month. He was appointed inspector-general, and entrusted with 
the difficult task of forming from such materials an army disciplined 
after the European system. Disheartening as were these prospects, 
and heightened, too, by Steuben's ignorance of the English language, 
he entered upon his duties with ardor. An interpreter was found, 
and the great work of giving efficiency to the army of Washington 
commenced. This was something new to the sufferers of Valley 
Forge ; and the strictness of the old soldier, together with his 
perfect familiarity with the most difficult military movements, 
astonished even the commander himself. " The troops," says Dr. 
Thacher, "were paraded in a single line, with shouldered arms, 
every officer in his particular station. The Baron first reviewed the 
line in this position, passing in front with a scrutinizing eye, after 
which he took into his hand the musket and accoutrements of every 
soldier, examining them with particular accuracy and precision, 
applauding or condemning according to the condition in which he 
found them. He required that the musket and bayonet should exhibit 
the brightest polish : not a spot of rust or defect in any part could 
elude his vigilance. He inquired also into the conduct of the officers 



Baron Ste-aten drilling tlie American Soldiers. 

toward their men, censuring every fault and applauding every meri- 
torious action. Next, he required of me, as surgeon, a list of the sick, 
with a particular statement of their accommodations and mode of 
treatment, and even visited some of the sick in their cabins." 

The great services rendered by the Baron, as exhibited in the rapid 
improvement of the army, did not escape the notice of either Wash- 
ington or Congress ; and at the recommendation of the former, he 
was appointed permanent inspector-general, with the rank of major- 
general. By his great exertions he made this office respectable, 
establishing frugality and economy among the soldiers. In discipline, 
both of men and officers, he was entirely impartial, and never omitted 
an opportunity to praise merit or censure a fault. Washington 
speaks of him in the following manner. " Justice concurring with 
inclination, constrain me to testify that the Baron has in every in- 
stance discharged the several trusts reposed in him, with great zeal 
and ability, so as to give him the fullest title to my esteem as a 
brave, indefatigable, judicious and experienced officer." 

America was soon to witness the effects of the new discipline upon 
the very army that had twice defeated hers. In June, 1778, the 
British army evacuated Philadelphia, and marched hastily for New 
York. They were led to this step through fear that a French fleet 
might block up the Delaware, while Washington attacked them by 
land, and thus they be forced to surrender. Washington pursued 
them, and ardently desired to give battle. Steuben's opinion com 
cided with the commander's, and on the morning of the 28th a 


detachment under General Lee advanced against the enemy, and 
commenced the battle of Monmouth. In the retreat and subsequent 
rally of the advance, the value of discipline vi'as triumphantly dis- 
played. The retiring troops were formed by Washington in the very 
face of the enemy, turned upon their pursuers, and regained the lost 
ground. Such a movement is justly considered the triumph of dis- 
cipline ; and the battle of Monmouth is one of the most remarkable 
of the war, not only as exhibiting the great talents of General Wash- 
ington, but as a proof of the former invaluable though silent labors 
of the Baron Steuben. 

^.^^ , OON after this affair, the Baron was ordered 
^ ^^^^ to Rhode Island, to assist in the operations 
of General Sullivan. He arrived too late, 
^^^V'i't^l' however, to be of essential service. In 
the latter part of 1778, he was employed to digest 
a system of Prussian tactics, modified and adapted 
to the American service. This was a M'ork of no 
little difficulty, having to be written from memory, 
in the absence of any similar work which might serve as a guide, and 
in the French language. It received, however, the cordial approval 
of Washington, and was immediately adopted by resolution of Con- 
gress, as the standard of military discipline. 

When the first French fleet arrived in America, in 1780, sanguine 
hopes were entertained that the war was about to be speedily closed. 
Steuben had formerly presented to Congress a plan for the campaign, 
which was approved by Washington, and which promised to be emi- 
nently useful ; but the arrival of a British naval force, and the 
unfortunate occurrences at Newport, frustrated these expectations, 
and rendered much of the Baron's plan useless. 

Steuben was one of the court martial appointed to try Major Andr6. 
It was a wise precaution to place such men as Steuben and Lafayette 
on this delicate duty, as both were foreigners, and the Baron, at least, 
knew well the customs of war in such instances. He fully concurred 
in the sentence of the court. 

After the defeat of the southern army at Camden, Steuben was 
appointed president of the court martial for the trial of Gates ; but 
the court never met, and he was thus relieved from an unpleasant duty. 
When Greene took command in that quarter, the Baron accompanied 
him in order to establish a system of discipline among the raw recruits. 
Greene determined to push for the Carolinas, but knowing the neces- 
sity of keeping some force in Virginia, in order to raise troops, he 
entrusted that care to Steuben, with full discretionary power to call 
on the authorities of the state, and, if possible, to attack the British 



Arnold's Descent on Virginia. 

under General Leslie. As soon as troops were raised they were to 
be ordered to Greene's army in the south. This office was one of 
difficulty, and no little delicacy. Virginia was jealous of her rights, 
and fearful of an invasion from the Chesapeake ; so that the utmost 
efforts of the Baron, aided by those of Governor Jefferson, failed to 
answer fully the expectations of General Greene. Troops enlisted 
but slowly, and frequently only one half of those appointed to be 
raised by a certain time could be mustered. 

In January, 1781, Arnold invaded Virginia. The command of the 
militia destined to oppose him devolved upon Steuben ; but so insig 
nificant was their number, and so greatly did they need the necessa 
ries of an army, that the Baron found it impossible to act in any other 
way but as a mere partisan. When the British reached Richmond, 
he received a note from Arnold, offering not to burn that town if the 
ships should be allowed to carry off some stores of tobacco unmolested. 
This proposition the Baron rejected, and the public buildings and a 
variety of stores were consigned to the flames. Arnold, then, slowly 
retreated. Steuben pursued him with a small force, taking every 
opportunity to harass his detached parties and cut off his rear. Jef- 
ferson speaks thus of his services : " His vigilance has, in a great 
measure, supplied the want of force,, in preventing the enemy from 
crossing the river, [James,] the consequences of which might have 
been very fatal. He has been assiduously employed in preparing 
equipments for the militia as they assembled, pointing them to a 
proper object, and in other offices of a good commander." 

After doing all the mischief in his power, and rendering his name 


still more detestable to the Americans tnan it had formerly been, 
Arnold established himself at Portsmouth, which he proceeded to 
fortify. At this place a plan was matured between Jefferson and 
Steuben, to surprise him, and convey him to the American lines. A 
party of young men was organized for that purpose ; but the scheme 
was frustrated by the extraordinary precautions used by General 
Arnold respecting the security of his person. 

Meanwhile Baron Steuben was involved in difficulties of another 
kind. His ardor in raising and equipping troops was not seconded 
by the authorities of Virginia ; and when plans which had cost him 
much time and trouble to mature were executed tardily, or entirely 
rejected, his patience was severely tried. On such occasions he 
frequently became involved with public officers in groundless dis- 
putes and ill feeling. The Baron was soothed, however, by letters 
from Greene and Washington, each of whom knew how to appreciate 
his services. 

While matters were in this condition, the appearance of a small 
French force in the Chesapeake again inspired the hope of Arnold's 
capture ; but the wily general moved to a shallow place up the river, 
and Steuben was again disappointed. Soon after, the whole French 
squadron reached. the bay and landed eleven hundred men. The raw 
militia were incapable of acting with this force ; but aware of the 
importance of co-operating with it, Washington detached Lafayette 
from the main army with twelve hundred continental troops. The 
Marquis was appointed commander of all the forces in Virginia, but 
fearful of wounding the feelings of Steuben, he took command only 
in the field. 

Lafayette reached the Elk river on the 3d of March, and wrote to 
Baron Steuben to confine the British by the militia, until opportunity 
should be afforded for a decisive blow. About the middle of March, 
the English fleet under Arbuthnot, met that of Admiral Detouches, 
and an indecisive engagement took place, which induced the French 
commander to return to Newport. This gave the British a decided 
superiority, and obliged Lafayette to return northward. A few days 
after, General Phillips reached Portsmouth with two thousand British 
troops, excellently equipped, and in a high state of discipline. As 
this force placed the state in imminent danger, Lafayette marched 
back with his troops, and assumed the command. 

)n the 18th of April, Phillips sailed up the James river, with 
twenty-five hundred men, to attack Petersburg. Baron Steuben was 
at this place with but about one thousand militia. Notwithstanding 
this disparity of numbers, the American general marched against 
them, and in an engagement which ensued, held their whole force at 


bay for more than two hours. He even succeeded in throwing their 
ranks into confusion, but at length retreated to a position on the 
river. An immense amount of goods was burned by the British, 
while some public vessels, and a great deal of private property, were 
destroyed in various ways. 

N the 20th of May, Lord Cornwallis united his 
southern army with General Arnold at Petersburg. 
The latter officer had succeeded to the command 
in Virginia, at the death of Phillips. Previous to 
this, Steuben had found his situation so irksome, 
that he had asked and obtained leave to join 
Greene in South Carolina ; but he was prevented 
from doing so by the new invasion of Cornwallis. 
He therefore established himself with six hundred men at the state 
arsenal, near the source of James river. 

Having ascertained the Baron's position, Cornwallis detached 
Colonel Simcoe against him with five hundred regulars, who were to 
be joined in their march by Tarleton with two hundred and fifty 
horse. Steuben had no means of ascertaining his opponent's strength, 
and when the latter displayed an extended front, and built a large 
number of fires at night, he was led to believe that the whole force of 
Cornwallis had arrived. The Americans retreated, and Simcoe, after 
destroying the stores at the state arsenal, returned to Petersburg. 

On the 1 6th of June, Steuben joined Lafayette, who had been 
previously reinforced by the Pennsylvania troops under General 
Wayne. On the 16th of July, the Marquis met Cornwallis near 
Jamestown, and a slight engagement took place, in which the Ameri- 
cans behaved remarkably well, notwithstanding their great inferiority 
of numbers. The enemy gained some advantage, but did not pursue 
it ; and soon after the Earl marched to Yorktown, which he began 
to fortify. 

On the 28th of September, the main allied army of the French 
and Americans, under Rochambeau and Washington, aided by the 
fleet of de Grasse, sat down before this place. The siege lasted until 
the 1 8th of October, during which time Steuben bore his full share 
of toil and danger. His exact, scientific knowledge rendered him 
extremely useful, and to atone in some measure for his former vexa- 
tions, Washington assigned him a command in the line. His services 
are honorably noticed by that great man, in the general orders subse- 
quent to the capitulation. 

After this happy affair, the Baron returned with the main army to 
the middle states, where he remained until the treaty of peace. In 
1782 he informed Washington of the arrival of one of his former 



Count de Grasse. 

acquaintances, the Count Benyowzky or Bieniewsky, whom he 
introduced to the commander. He was a Prussian nobleman, allied 
by blood to the renowned Pulaski, and had experienced most roman- 
tic changes of fortune. He oifered to hire on certain conditions, a 
body of German troops, to be employed in the American army as a 
distinct legion, and each officer and soldier at the close of the war 
was to receive a tract of the public land. His plan was approved by 
Washington, after some alteration, and favorably reported by Con- 
gress ; but the approach of peace prevented its adoption. 

Baron Steuben was appointed to receive the surrender of the posts 
on the Canada frontier, but the incivility of the British general 
caused much contention, and Steuben returned to New York. 

On the day that Washington resigned his office as commander-in- 
chief, he wrote to the Baron the following noble and affectionate 
letter : 

" Although I have taken frequent opportunities, in public and pri 
vate, of acknowledging your great zeal, attention and abilities, in 
performing the duties of your office, yet I wish to make use of this 
last moment of my public life, to signify in the strongest terms, my 
entire approbation of your conduct, and to express my sense of the 


obligations the public is under to you for your faithful and merito- 
rious services. 

" I beg you will be convinced, my dear sir, that I should rejoice, 
if it could ever be in my power, to serve you more essentially than 
by expressions of regard and affection ; but, in the mean time, I am 
persuaded you will not be displeased with this farewell token of my 
sincere friendship and esteem for you. 

" This is the last letter I shall write while I continue in the ser- 
vice of my country. The hour of my resignation is fixed at twelve 
to-day ; after which I shall become a private citizen on the banks of 
the Potomac, where I shall be glad to embrace you, and testify the 
great esteem and consideration with which 

" I am, my dear Baron, &c." 

The neglect with which many of the braA^e men who had bled in 
our cause were treated by Congress, will ever remain as a stigma 
upon that body. Among these was Steuben ; for seven years he 
made ineffectual efforts to obtain a notice of his claims, but in vain. 
He had left affluence and baronial dignity among the monarchs of 
Europe, to waste his life in our struggle, and now, when the great 
object had been reached, he was poor, homeless, and unprovided for. 

At last, through the strenuous exertions of Washington and 
Hamilton, Congress were induced to acknowledge his claims. In 
1790, they granted him an annual sum of twenty-five hundred dol- 
lars. Other grants, principally of land, had already been made by 
Virginia and New Jersey, and on the 5th of May, 1786, the New 
York Assembly voted him sixteen thousand acres. Determining not 
to revisit Europe, he built a log house on his land, rented a large 
portion of it to tenants, and, with a few domestics, lived there until 
his death, excepting during an annual visit to New York city in the 
winter. His time was spent in reading, gardening, and in cheerfnl 
conversations with his faithful aids Walker and North, who re- 
mained with him until death. Occasionally he amused himself by 
playing chess and hunting. 

On the 25th of November, 1794, he was struck by paralysis, and 
on the 28th, his long and active life closed. He died in full belief 
of the truths of Christianity, which for some time had been his con- 
solation and support. 

His body was buried in his military cloak, to which was attached 
the star of knighthood, always worn during life. His servants and 
a few neighbours buried him. His grave was in a deep forest, which 
being afterwards crossed by a road, occasioned its reinterment on a 
spot about a quarter of a mile north of his house. Walker performed 




this duty, and afterwards placed an iron railing round the grave. A 
stone, with the inscription, Major-General Frederic William 
Augustus, Baron de Steuben, marks the hero's resting place. A 
tablet in memory of him was placed in the Lutheran church, Nassau 
street. New York, where he always attended when in that city. 
This was done by his aid, Colonel North, who graced it with the 
following inscription : — 

sacred to the memory 




















By his will, the Baron left his library and one thousand dollars to 
a young man of literary habits, named Mulligan, whom he had 
adopted, and nearly all the . remainder of his property to North and 
Walker. What a proof of his firmness as a friend, and his gratitude 
for even the smallest favors. 

Grave of Baron Steuben. 


HIS distinguished officer of the Revolution, was a 
t^ native of England, and was born in the year 1728. 
He was educated to the military profession, and 
entered the British army at an early age, in the 
capacity of lieutenant, where he laid the founda- 
tion of his future military excellence. Without 
purchase he obtained the rank of Major. He was 
aid to General Monckton, at the capture of Martinico, and after 
the peace of Aix la Chapelle he was among the first troops which 
landed at Halifax under General Cornwallis. He was an officer in 
the army which accompanied the unfortunate Braddock, in the expe- 
dition against Fort du Quesne, in the year 1755, and was shot 
through the body. 

When peace was concluded, he purchased an estate in Virginia, 
where he resided until the commencement of the American war, in 

1775. Having evinced his zeal and attachment to the violated rights 


] 00 GATES. 

of his adopted country, and sustaining a high military reputation, he 
was appointed by Congress adjutant-general, with the rank of briga- 
dier, and he accompanied Gen. Washington to the American camp 
at Cambridge, in July, 1775, where he was employed for some time 
in a subordinate, but highly useful capacity. 

In June, 1776, Gates was appointed to the command of the army 
of Canada, and on reaching Ticonderoga he still claimed the com- 
mand of it, though it was no longer in Canada, and was in the 
department of Gen. Schuyler, a senior officer, who had rendered emi- 
nent services in that command. On representation to Congress, it 
was declared not to be their intention to place Gates over Schuyler, 
and it was recommended to these officers to endeavor to co-operate 
harmoniously. Gen. Schuyler was, however, shortly after directed 
by Congress to resume the command of the northern department, 
and General Gates withdrew himself from it ; after which he repaired 
to head-quarters, and joined the army under General Washington, 
in Jersey. 

Owing to the prevalent dissatisfaction with the conduct of General 
Schuyler, in the evacuation of Ticonderoga, Gates was again 
directed to take command. He arrived about the 21st of August, 
and continued the exertions to restore the affairs of the department, 
which had been so much depressed by the losses consequent on the 
evacuation of Ticonderoga. It was fortunate for General Gates, that 
the retreat from Ticonderoga had been conducted under other aus- 
pices than his, and that he took the command when the indefatigable, 
but unrequited labors of Schuyler, and the courage of Stark and his 
mountaineers, had already ensured the ultimate defeat of Burgoyne. 

Burgoyne, after crossing the Hudson, advanced along its side and 
encamped on the height, about two miles from Gates's camp : which 
was three miles above Stillwater. This movement was the subject 
of much discussion. Some charged it on the impetuosity of the 
genera], and alleged that it was premature, before he was sure of aid 
from the royal forces posted in New York ; but he pleaded the pe- 
remptory orders of his superiors. The rapid advance of Burgoyne, 
and especially his passage of the North River, added much to the 
impracticability of his future retreat, and made the ruin of his army 
in a great degree unavoidable. The Americans, elated with their 
successes at Bennington and Fort Schuyler, thought no more of 
retreating, but came out to meet the advancing British, and engaged 
them with firmness and resolution. 

The attack began a little before mid-day, September 19th, be- 
tween the scouting parties of the two armies. The commanders of 
both sides supported and reinforced their respective parties. The 



Burgoyne's Encampment on the Hudson. 

conflict, though severe, was only partial for an hour an^ a half ; but, 
after a short pause, it became general, and continued for three hours 
without any intermission. A constant blaze of fire was kept up, and 
both armies seemed determined on death or victory. The Americans 
and British alternately drove, and were driven by each other. The 
British artillery fell into our possession at every charge, but we could 
neither turn the pieces upon the enemy nor bring them off, so sudden 
were the alternate advantages. It was a gallant conflict, in which 
death, by familiarity, lost his terrors ; and such was the order of the 
Americans, that, as General Wilkinson states, the wounded men, 
after having their wounds dressed, in many instances returned again 
into the battle. Men, and particularly officers, dropped every moment, 
and on every side. Several of the Americans placed themselves on 
high trees, and, as often as they could distinguish an officer's uni- 
form, took him off by deliberately aiming at his person. Few actions 
have been characterized by more obstinacy in attack or defence. The 
British repeatedly tried their bayonets, but without their usual suc- 
cess in the use of that weapon. 

The British lost upwards of 500 men, including their killed, 
wounded, and prisoners. The Americans, inclusive of the missing, 
lost 319. Thirty-six out of forty-eight British artillerists were killed 

102 GATES. 

or wounded. The 62d British regiment, which was 500 strong when 

it left Canada, was reduced to sixty men and four or five officers. In 

this engagement General Gates, assisted by Generals Lincoln and 

Arnold, commanded the American army ; and General Burgoyne 

was at the head of his army, and Generals Philips, Reidesel, and 

Frazer, with their respective commands, were actively engaged. 

^^ ^\%c\^^^ ?^l ^■'■^ battle was fought by the general concert and zealous 

^n^frWJ co-operation of the corps engaged, and was sustained 

^1 more by individual courage than military discipline. 

I^^^gl General Arnold, who afterwards traitorously deserted 
his country, behaved with the most undaunted courage, 
leading on the troops and encouraging them by his personal efforts 
and daring exposure. The gallant Colonel Morgan obtained immor- 
tal honor on this day. Lieutenant-Colonel Brooks, with the eighth 
Massachusetts regiment remained in the field till about eleven o'clock, 
and was the last who retired. Major Hull commanded a detach- 
ment of three hundred men, who fought with such signal ardor, 
that more than one half of them were killed. The whole number of 
Americans engaged in this action, was about two thousand five hun- 
dred ; the remainder of the army from its unfavorable situation, took 
little or no part in the action. 

Each army claimed the victory, and each believed himself to have 
beaten, with pnly part of its force, nearly the whole of the enemy. 
The advantage however was decidedly in favor of the Americans. In 
every quarter they had been the assailants, and after an encounter 
of several hours they had not lost a single inch of ground. 

General Gates, whose numbers increased daily, remained on his 
old ground. His right, which extended to the river, had been ren- 
dered unassailable, and he used great industry to strengthen his left. 

Both armies retained their position until the 7th of October ; Bur- 
goyne, in the hope of being relieved by Sir Henry Clinton : and 
Gates in the confidence of growing stronger every day, and of ren- 
dering the destruction of his enemy more certain. But receiving no 
further intelligence from Sir Henry, the British general determined 
to make one more trial of strength with his adversary. The follow- 
ing account of the brilliant affair of the 7th of October, 1777, is 
given in Thacher's Military Journal. 

" I am fortunate enough to obtain from our officers a particular 
account of the glorious event of the 7th inst. The advanced parties 
of the two armies came into contact, about three o'clock on Tuesday 
afternoon, and immediately displayed their hostile attitude. The 
Americans soon approached the royal army, and each party in defi- 
mce awaited the deadly blow. The gallant Colonel Morgan, at the 


head of his famous rifle corps, and Major Dearborn, leading a detach- 
ment of infantry, commenced the action, and rushed courageously 
on the British grenadiers, commanded by Major Ackland ; and the 
furious attack was firmly resisted. In all parts of the field, the con- 
flict became extremely arduous and obstinate ; an unconquerable 
spirit on each side disdaining to yield the palm of victory. — Death 
appeared to have lost his terrors ; breaches in the ranks w^ere no 
sooner made than supplied by fresh combatants, awaiting a similar 
fate. At length the Americans press forward with renewed strength 
and ardor, and compel the whole British line, commanded by Bur- 
goyne himself, to yield to their deadly fire, and they retreat in dis- 
order. The German troops remain firmly posted at their lines ; these 
were now boldly assaulted by Brigadier-General Learned, and Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel Brooks, at the head of their respective commands, 
with such intrepidity, that the works were carried, and their brave 
commander. Lieutenant- Colonel Breyman, was slain. The Germans 
were pursued to their encampment, which, with all the equipage of 
the brigade, fell into our hands. Colonel Cilley, of General Poor's 
brigade, having acquitted himself honorably, was seen astride on a 
brass field-piece, exultmg in the capture. Major Hull of the Massa- 
chusetts line was among those who so bravely stormed the enemy's 
intrenchment, and acted a conspicuous part. General Arnold, in 
consequence of a serious misunderstanding with General Gates, was 
not vested with any command, by which he was exceedingly chagrined 
and irritated. He entered the field, however, and his conduct was 
marked with intemperate rashness ; flourishing his sword and anima- 
ting the troops, he struck an officer on the head without cause, and 
gave him a considerable wound. He exposed himself to every danger, 
and with a small party of riflemen, rushed into the rear of the enemy, 
where he received a ball w^hich fractured his leg, and his horse was 
killed under him. Nightfall put a stop to our brilliant career, though 
the victory was most decisive, and it is with pride and exultation 
that we recount the triumph of American bravery. Besides Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel Breyman slain. General Frazer, one of the most 
valuable officers in the British service, was mortally wounded, and 
survived.but a few hours. Frazer was the soul of the British army, 
and was just changing the disposition of a part of the troops to repel 
a strong impression which the Americans had made, and were still 
making, on the British right, when Morgan called together two 
or three of his best marksmen, and pointing to Frazer said, ' Do 
you see that gallant officer ? that is General Frazer, — I respect and 
honor him ; but it is necessary he should die.' This was enough. 
Frazer immediately received his mortal wound, and w^as carried off" 

104 GATES. 

the field. Sir Francis Clark, aid-de-camp to General Burgoyne, was 
brought into our camp with a mortal wound, and Major Acklarid, 
who commanded the British grenadiers, was wounded through both 
legs, and is our prisoner. Several other officers, and about two hun- 
dred privates, are prisoners in our hands, with nine pieces of cannon, 
and a considerable supply of ammunition, which was much wanted for 
our troops. The loss on our side is supposed not to exceed thirty 
killed, and one hundred wounded, in obtaining this signal victory." 

The position of the British army, after the action of the 7th, was 
so dangerous, that an immediate and total change of position became 
necessary, and Burgoyne took immediate measures to regain his 
former camp at Saratoga. There he arrived, with little molestation 
from his adversary. His provisions being now reduced to the supply 
of a few days, the transports of artillery and baggage towards Canada 
being rendered impracticable by the judicious measures of his adver- 
sary, the British general resolved upon a rapid retreat, merely with 
what the soldiers could carry. On examination, however, it was 
found that they were deprived even of this resource, as the passes 
through which their route lay, were so strongly guarded, that nothing 
but artillery could clear them. In this desperate situation a parley 
took place, and on the 16th of October, the whole army surrendered 
to General Gates. 

The prize obtained consisted of more than five thousand prisoners, 
forty-two pieces of brass ordnance, seven thousand muskets, clothing 
for seven thousand men, with a great quantity of tents, and other 
military stores. 

Soon after the convention was signed, the Americans marched into 
their lines, and were kept there until the royal army had deposited 
their arms at the place appointed. The delicacy with which this 
business was conducted, reflected honor on the American general. 
Nor did the politeness of Gates end here. Every circumstance was 
withheld that could constitute a triumph in the American army. The 
captive general was received by his conqueror with respect and kind- 
ness. A number of the principal officers of both armies met at 
General Gates's quarters, and for a while seemed to forget, in social 
and convivial pleasures, that they had been enemies. 

General Wilkinson gives the following account of the meeting 
between General Burgoyne and General Gates : — 

" General Gates, advised of Burgoyne's approach, met him at the 
head of his camp, Burgoyne in a rich royal uniform, and Gates in a 
plain blue frock. When they had approached nearly within sword's 
length, they reined up and halted. J then named the gentleman, and 
General Burgoyne, raising his hat, most gracefully, said, ' The fortune 



BuTgoyne's Surrender. 

of war, General Gates, has made me your prisoner ;' to which the 
conqueror, returning a courtly salute, promptly replied, ' I shall 
always be ready to bear testimony that it has not been through any 
fault of your Excellency.' " 

The thanks of Congress were voted to General Gates and his 
army ; and a medal of gold, in commemoration of this great event, 
was ordered to be struck, to be presented to him by the president, in 
the name of the United States. 

It was not long after that the wonderful discovery was supposed 
to be made, that the illustrious Washington was incompetent to the 
task of conducting the operations of the American army, and that 
General Gates, if elevated to the chief command, Avould speedily 
meliorate the condition of- our affairs. There were those that im- 
puted to General Gates himself, a principal agency in the affair, 
which, however, he promptly disavowed. But certain it is, that a 
private correspondence was maintained between him and the in- 
triguing General Conway, in which the measures pursued by General 



Washington are criticised and repro- 
bated, and in one of Conway's letters, 
he pointedly ascribes our want of success 
to a weak general and bad counsellors. 
General Gates, on finding that General 
Washington had been apprised of the 
correspondence, addressed his Excel- 
lency, requesting that he would disclose 
the name of his informant, and in viola- 
tion of the rules of decorum, he addressed 
the commander-in-chief on a subject of 
extreme delicacy, in an open letter trans- 
mitted to the president of Congress. 
General Washington, however, did not 
hesitate to disclose the name and the 
circumstances which brought the affair 
General BuTgoyne. to light. General Gatcs, then, with incx- 

cusable disingenuousness, attempted to vindicate the conduct of Con- 
way, and to deny that the letter contained the reprehensible expres- 
sions in question, but utterly refused to produce the original letter. 
This subject, however, was so ably and candidly discussed by General 
Washington, as to cover his adversary with shame and humiliation. 
It was thought inexcusable in Gates, that he neglected to communi- 
cate to the commander-in-chief an account of so important an event 
as the capture of the British army at Saratoga, but left his Excel- 
lency to obtain the information by common report. 

Dr. Thacher, in his Military Journal, relates the following anec- 
dote : — " Mr. T , an ensign in our regiment, has, for some 

time, discovered symptoms of mental derangement. — Yesterday he 
intruded himself at General Gates's head-quarters, and after some 
amusing conversation, he put himself in the attitude of devotion, and 
prayed that God would pardon General Gates for endeavoring to 
supersede that god-like man, Washington. The general appeared 
to be much disturbed, and directed Mr. Pierce, his aid-de-camp, to 
talce him away." 

On the 13th of June, 1780, General Gates was appointed to the 
chief command of the southern army. Rich in fame from the fields 
of Saratoga, he hastened to execute the high and important trust ; 
and the arrival of an officer so exalted in reputation, had an imme- 
diate and happy effect on the spirits of the soldiery and the hopes of 
the people. It was anticipated that he who had humbled Great 
Britain on the heights of the Hudson, and liberated New York from 
a formidable invasion, would prove no less successful in the south, 


and become the deliverer of Carolina and Georgia from lawless 
rapine and military rule. But anticipations were vain, and the best 
founded hopes were blighted ! In the first and only encounter which 
he had with Lord Cornwallis, at Camden, August 15th, he suffered 
a total defeat, and was obliged to fly from the enemy for personal 

Proudly calculating on the weight of his name, and too confident 
in his own superiority, he slighted the counsel which he ought to 
have respected, and hurrying impetuously into the field of battle, 
his tide of popularity ebbed as fast at Camden as it had flowed at 

It would be great injustice, however, to attribute the misfortune 
altogether to the commander, under his peculiar circumstances. A 
large proportion of his force consisted of raw militia, who were panic 
struck, and fled at the first fire ; — their rout was absolute and irre- 
trievable. In vain did Gates attempt to rally them. That their 
speed might be the greater, they threw away their arms and accoutre- 
ments, and dashed into the woods and swamps for safety. A rout 
more perfectly wild and disorderly, or marked with greater conster- 
nation and dismay, was never witnessed. Honor, manhood, country, 
home, every recollection sacred to the feelings of the soldier, and the 
soul of the brave, was merged in an ignominious love of life. 

But from the moment General Gates assumed the command in the 
south, his former judgment and fortune seemed to forsake him. He 
was anxious to come to action immediately, and to terminate the 
war by a few bold and energetic measures ; and two days after his 
arrival in camp, he began his march to meet the enemy, without 
properly estimating his force. 

The active spirits of the place being roused and encouraged by the 
presence of a considerable army, and daily flocking to the standard 
of their country. General Gates, by a delay of action, had much to 
gain in point of numbers. To the prospects of the enemy, on the con- 
trary, delay would have been ruinous. To them there was no 
alternative but immediate battle and victory, or immediate retreat. 
Such, however, was the nature of the country, and the distance and 
relative position of the two armies, that to compel the Americans to 
action was impossible. The imprudence of the American general in 
hazarding an engagement, at this time, is further manifested by the 
fact, that in troops, on whose firmness he could safely rely, he was 
greatly inferior to his foe, they. amounting to sixteen hundred veteran 
and highly disciplined regulars, and he having less than a thousand 

General Gates having retreated to Salisbury, and thence to Hills- 

108 GATES. 

borough, he there succeeded in collecting around him the fragments 
of an army. Being soon after reinforced by several small bodies of 
regulars and militia, he again advanced towards the south, and took 
post in Charlotte. Here he continued in command until the 5th day 
of October, fifty days after his defeat at Camden, when Congress 
passed a resolution requiring the commander-in-chief to order a court 
of inquiry on his conduct, as commander of the southern army, and 
to appoint some other officer to that command. The inquiry resulted 
in his acquittal : and it was the general opinion that he was not 
treated by Congress with that delicacy, or indeed gratitude, that was 
due to an officer of his acknowledged merit. He, however, received 
the order of his supersedure and suspension, and resigned the com- 
mand to General Greene with becoming dignity, as is manifested, 
much to his credit, in the following order : — 

"Head-Quarters, Charlotte, Zd December, 1780. ■> 
Parole, Springfield — countersign, Greene. 3 

" The honorable Major-General Greene, who arrived yesterday 
afternoon in Charlotte, being appointed by his excellency General 
Washington, with the approbation of the honorable Congress, to the 
command of the southern army, all orders will, for the future, issue 
from him, and all reports are to be made to him. 

" General Gates returns his sincere and grateful thanks to the 
southern army for their perseverance, fortitude, and patient endu- 
rance of all the hardships and sufferings they have undergone while 
under his command. He anxiously hopes their misfortunes will cease 
therewith, and that victory, and the glorious advantages of it, may 
be the future portion of the southern army." 

General Greene had already been, and continued to be, the firm 
advocate of the reputation of General Gates, particularly if he heard 
it assailed with asperity ; and still believed and asserted, that if there 
was any mistake in the conduct of Gates, it was in hazarding an 
action at all against such superior force ; and when informed of his 
appointment to supersede him, declared his confidence in his military 
talents, and his willingness " to serve under him." 

General Gates was reinstated in his military command in the main 
army, in 1782 ; but the great scenes of war were now passed, and 
he could only participate in the painful scene of a final separation. 

In the midst of his misfortune, General Gates was called to mourn 
the afflicted dispensation of Providence, in the death of his only son. 
Major Garden, in his excellent publication, has recorded the follow- 
ing affecting anecdote, which he received from Dr. William Reed : — 

" Having occasion to call on General Gates, relative to the busi- 
ness of the department under my immediate charge, I found him 


traversing the apartment which he occupied, under the influence of 
high excitement ; his agitation was excessive — every feature of his 
countenance, every gesture betrayed it. Official despatches inform- 
ing him that he was superseded, and that the command of the south- 
ern army had been transferred to General Greene, had just been 
received and perused by him. His countenance, however, betrayed 
no expression of irritation or resentment ; it was sensibility alone 
that caused his emotion. An open letter, which he held in his hand, 
was often raised to his lips and kissed with devotion, while the excla- 
mation repeatedly escaped them — ' Great man ! Noble, generous 
procedure !' When the tumult of his mind had subsided, and his 
thoughts found utterance, he, with strong expression of feeling, 
exclaimed : ' I have received this day a communication from the 
commander-in-chief, which has conveyed more consolation to my 
bosom, more ineffable delight to my heart, than I had believed it 
possible for it ever to have felt again. With affectionate tenderness 
he sympathizes with me in my domestic misfortunes, and condoles 
with me on the loss I have sustained by the recent death of an only 
son ; and then with peculiar delicacy, lamenting my misfortune in 
battle, assures me that his confidence in my zeal and capacity is so 
little impaired, that the command of the right wing of the army will 
be bestowed on me so soon as I can make it convenient to join 
him.' " 

After the peace, he retired to his farm in Berkley county, Va., 
where he remained until the year 1790, when he went to reside in 
New York, having first emancipated his slaves, and made a pecu- 
niary provision for such as were not able to provide for themselves. 
Some of them would not leave him, but continued in his family. 

On his arrival at New York, the freedom of the city was presented 
to him. In 1800 he accepted a seat in the legislature, but he 
retained it no longer than he conceived his services might be useful 
to the cause of liberty, which he never abandoned. 

His political opinions did not separate him from many respectable 
citizens, whose views differed widely from his own. He had a hand 
some person and was gentlemanly in his manners, remarkably cour- 
teous to all, and gave indisputable marks of a social, amiable, and 
benevolent disposition. A few weeks before his death, he closed a 
letter to a friend in the following words : — " I am very weak, and 
have evident signs of an approaching dissolution. But I have lived 
. long enough, since I have to see a mighty people animated with a 
spirit to be free, and governed by transcendant abilities and honor." 
He died without posterity, at his abode near New York, on the 10th 
day of April, 1806, aged 78 years. 


ENERAL GREENE, although 
descended from ancestors of ele 
vated standing, was not indebted 
to the condition of his family, for 
any part of the real lustre and reputation 
he possessed. He was literally the founder 
of his own fortune, and the author of his 
own fame. He was the second son of 
Nathaniel Greene, a member of the society 
of Friends, an anchor-smith. 
He was born in the year 1741, in the town of Warwick, and 
county of Kent, in the province of Rhode Island. Being intended 
by his father for the business which he himself pursued, young 
Greene received at school nothing but the elements of a common 
English education. But to him, an education so limited was unsa- 
tisfactory. With such funds as he was able to raise, he purchased 
a small, but well-selected, library, and spent his evenings, and all 



the time he could redeem from his father's business, in regular 

At a period of life unusually early, Greene was elevated, by a very 
flattering suffrage, to a seat in the legislature of his native colony. 
This was the commencement of a public career, which, heightening 
as it advanced, and flourishing in the midst of difficulties, closed 
with a lustre that was peculiarly dazzling. 

Thus introduced into the councils of his country, at a time when 
the rights of the subject, and the powers of the ruler, were begin- 
ning to be topics of liberal discussion, he felt it his duty to avow his 
sentiments on the momentous question. Nor did he pause or waver, 
as to the principles he should adopt, and the decision he should form. 
He was inflexibly opposed to tyranny and oppression in every shape, 
and manfully avowed it. But his character, although forming, was 
not completely developed until the commencement of the troubles 
which terminated in our independence. It was then that he aspired 
to a head in the public councils ; and throwing from him, as unsuit- 
able to the times, the peaceful habits in which he had been educated, 
sternly declared for a redress of grievances, or open resistance. This 
open departure from the sectarian principles in which he had been 
educated, was followed, of course, by his immediate dismission from 
the society of Friends. 

The sword was earliest unsheathed in the colony of Massachusetts ; 
and on the plains of Lexington and Concord, the blood of British 
soldiers, and American subjects, mingled first in hostile strife. Nor 
was Rhode Island, after that sanguinary affair, behind her sister colo- 
nies, in gallantry of spirit, and promptitude of preparation. 

Greene commenced his military pupilage in the capacity of a pri- 
vate soldier, in Oct. 1774, in a military association, commanded by 
James M. Varnum, afterward brigadier-general. But Rhode Island 
having in the month of May, 1775, raised three regiments of militia, 
she placed them under the command of Greene, who, without loss 
of time, conducted them to head-quarters, in the village of Cam- 

On the 2d of July, 1775, General Washington, invested by Con- 
gress with the command in chief of the armies of his country, arrived 
at Boston. Greene availed himself of an early opportunity amid the 
public demonstration of joy, to welcome the commander-in-chief, in 
a personal address, in which, with much warmth of feeling, and kind 
ness of expression, he avowed his attachment to his person, and the 
high gratification he derived from the prospect of being associated 
with him in arms, and serving under him in defence of the violated 
rights of his country. 



HIS was a happy prelude to a friend- 
ship between these two great 
and illustrious officers, which 
death, alone, had the power to 
dissolve. It is a fact of notoriety, 
that when time and acquaint- 
ance had made him thoroughly 
acquainted with the character 
and merits of General Greene, 
Washington entertained, and frequently expressed an anxious wish, 
that in case of his death, he might be appointed his successor to the 
supreme command. 

During the investment of Boston by the American forces, a state 
of things which lasted for months, no opportunity presented itself to 
Greene to acquire distinction by personal exploit. But his love of 
action, and spirit of adventure, were strongly manifested, for he was 
one of the few officers of rank who concurred with General Wash- 
ington in the propriety of attempting to carry the town by assault. 

On the evacuation of Boston by the British, the American troops 
were permitted to repose from their toils, and to exchange, for a 
time, the hardships and privations of a field encampment, for the 
enjoyment of plenty, in comfortable barracks. During this period 
of relaxation, Greene continued, with unabating industry, his military 
studies, and as far as opportunity served, his attention to the prac- 
tical duties of the field. This course, steadily pursued, under the 
immediate supervision of Washington, could scarcely fail to procure 
rank and lead to eminence. Accordingly, on the 26th of August, 
1776, he was promoted by Congress to the rank of major-general in 
the regular army, 

A crisis, most glowing, and portentous to the cause of freedom, 
had now arrived. In the retreat which now commenced, through New 
Jersey, General Washington was accompanied by General Greene, 
and received from him all the aid that, under circumstances so dark 
and unpromising, talents, devotion, and firmness could afford. Pos- 
sessed alike of an ardent temperament, hearts that neither danger 
nor misfortune could appal, and an inspiring trust in the righteous- 
ness of their cause, it belonged to the character of these two great 
and illustrious commanders, never for a moment to despair of their 
country. Hope and confidence, even now, beamed from their coun- 
tenances, and they encouraged their followers, and supported them 
under the pressure of defeat and misfortune. 

Greene was one of the council of Washington, who resolved on 
the enterprise of the 26th of December, 1776, against the post of 



the enemy at Trenton. The issue is known, and is glorious in our 
history. About one thousand Hessians, in killed, wounded, and pri- 
soners, with their arms, field equipage, and artillery, were the tro- 
phies of that glorious morning, which opened on the friends of 
American freedom with the day-star of hope. He was again of the 
council of the commander-in-chief, in planning the daring attack of 
the 2d January, 1777, on the British garrison at Princeton, as well 
as his associate in achieving its execution. In both these brilliant 
actions, his gallantry, prudence, and skill being alike conspicuous, 
he received the applauses of his commander. He continued the asso- 
ciate and most confidential counsellor of Washington through the 
gloomy and ominous period that followed. 

In the obstinate and bloody battle of Brandywine, General Greene, 
by his distinguished conduct, added greatly to his former renown. In 
the course of it, a detachment of American troops commanded by 
General Sullivan, being unexpectedly attacked by the enemj", re- 
treated in disorder. General Greene, at the head of Weedon's Vir- 
ginia brigade, flew to their support. On approaching, he found the 
defeat of General Sullivan a perfect rout. Not a moment was to be 
lost. Throwing himself into the rear of his flying countrymen, and 
retreating slowly, he kept up, especially from his cannon, so destruc- 
tive a fire as greatly to retard the advance of the enemy. Aiming at 
length at a narrow defile, secured on the right and left by thick woods, 
he halted, sent forward his cannon, that they might be out of danger 
in case of his being compelled to a hasty retreat, and formed his 
troops, determined to dispute the pass with his small arms. This he 
effected with complete success, notwithstanding the vast superiority 
of the assailants, until after a conflict of more than an hour and a 
half, night came on, and brought it to a close. But for this quick- 
sighted interposition, Sullivan's detachment must have been nearly 

On this occasion, only, did the slightest misunderstanding ever 
occur, between General Greene and the commander-in-chief. In his 
general orders after the battle, the latter neglected to bestow any 
special applause on Weedon's brigade. Against this General Greene 
remonstrated in person. 

General Washington replied, " You, sir, are considered my favorite 
officer. Weedon's brigade, like myself, are Virginians. Should I 
applaud them for their achievement, under your command, I shall be 
charged with partiality : jealousy will be excited, and the service 

" Sir," exclaimed Greene, with considerable emotion, " I trust your 
Excellency will do me the justice to believe that I am not selfish. In 




my own behalf I have nothing to ask. Act towards me. as you please ; 
I shall not complain. However richly I prize your Excellency's 
good opinion and applause, a consciousness that 1 have endeavored 
to do my duty, constitutes, at present, my richest reward. But do 
not, sir, let me entreat you, on account of the jealousy that may 
arise in little minds, withhold justice from the brave fellows I had 
the honor to command." 

Convinced that prudence forbade the special notice requested, the 
commander-in-chief persisted in his silence. Greene, on cool reflec- 
tion, appreciated the motives of his general, and lost no time in 
apologizing for his intemperate manner, if not for his expressions. 
Delighted with his frankness and magnanimity, Washington replied 
with a smile, — " An officer, tried as you have been, who errs but 
once in two years, deserves to be forgiven." With that he offered 
him his hand, and the matter terminated. 

OLLOWING General Greene in his military 
career, he next presents himself on the plains 
of Germantown. In this daring assault he 
commanded the left wing of the American 
army, and his utmost endeavors were used 
to retrieve the fortune of the day, in which 
his conduct met the approbation of the com- 
mander-in-chief. Lord Cornwallis, to whom 
he was often opposed, had the magnanimity 
to bestow upon him a lofty encomium. 
" Greene," said he, " is as dangerous as Washington. He is vigilant, 
enterprising, and full of resources. With but little hope of gaining 
any advantage over him, I never feel secure when encamped in his 

At this period, the quartermaster department in the American 
army, was in a very defective and alarming condition, and required 
a speedy and radical reform : and General Washington declared that 
such reform could be effected only by the appointment of a quarter- 
master-general, of great resources, well versed in business, and pos- 
sessing practical talents of the first order. When requested by 
Congress to look out for such an officer, he, at once, fixed his eye on 
General Greene. 

Washington well knew that the soul of Greene was indissolubly 
wedded to the duties of line. Notwithstanding this, he expressed, in 
conversation with a member of Congress, his entire persuasion, that 
if General Greene could be convinced of his ability to render his 
country greater services in the quartermaster department, than in 
the field, he would at once accept the appointment. " There is not," 


said he, " an officer of the army, nor a man in America, more smcerely 
attached to the interests of his country. Could he best promote their 
interests, in the character of a corporal, he would exchange as I firmly 
beheve, without a murmur, the epaulet for the knot. For although 
he is not without ambition ; that ambition has not for its object the 
highest rank, so much as the greatest good." 

When the appointment was first offered General Greene, he 
declined it, but after a conference with the commander-in-chief, he 
consented to an acceptance, on condition that he should forfeit 
nothing of his right to command, in time of action. On these terms 
he received the appointment on the 22d of March, 1776, and entered 
immediately on the duties of the office. 

In this station he fully answered the expectations formed of his 
abilities ; and enabled the American army to move with additional 
celerity and vigor. 

During his administration of the quartermaster department, he 
took, on two occasions, a high and distinguished part in the field ; 
the first in the battle of Monmouth ; the second in a very brilliant 
expedition against the enemy in Rhode Island, under the command 
of General Sullivan. At the battle of Monmouth, the commander-in- 
chief, disgusted with the behavior of General Lee, deposed him in 
the field of battle, and -appointed General Greene to command the 
right wing, where he greatly contributed to retrieve the errors of his 
predecessor, and to the subsequent events of the day. 

His return to his native state was hailed by the inhabitants, w4th 
general and lively demonstrations of joy. Even the leading mem- 
bers of the society of Friends, who had reluctantly excluded him 
from their communion, often visited him at his quarters, and expressed 
their sincere satisfaction at the elevation he had attained in the con- 
fidence of his country. One of these plain gentlemen being asked 
in jest, by a young officer, how he, as an advocate of peace, could 
reconcile it with his conscience, to keep so much company with 
General Greene, whose profession was war ? — promptly replied, 
" Friend, it is not a suit of uniform that can either make or spoil a 
man. True, I do not approve of this many-colored apparel, (to the 
officer's dress,) but whatever may be the form or color of his coat, 
Nathaniel Greene still retains the same sound head and virtuous 
heart, that gained him the love and esteem of our society." 

During the year 1779, General Greene was occupied exclusively 
in the extensive concerns of the quartermaster department. 

About this time. General Greene was called to the performance of 
a duty, the most trying and painful he had ever encountered. We 
allude to the melancholy affair of Major Andre, adjutant-general to 

lit) GREENE. 

the British army, who was captured in disguise within the American 
lines. Washington detailed a coutt for this trial, composed of four- 
teen general officers, Lafayette and Steuben being two of the number, 
and appointed General Greene to preside. 

When summoned to this trial, Andre frankly disclosed without 
interrogatory, what bore heaviest on his own life, but inviolably con- 
cealed whatever might endanger the safety of others. His confessions 
were conclusive, and no witness was examined against him. The 
court were unanimous, that he had been taken as a spy, and must 
suffer death. Of this sentence he did not complain, but wished that 
he might be permitted to close a life of honor by a professional death, 
and not be compelled, like a common felon, to expire on a gibbet. 
To effect this, he made, in a letter to General Washington, one of the 
most powerful and pathetic appeals, that ever fell from the pen of a 

Staggered in his resolution, the commander-in-chief referred the 
subject, accompanied by the letter, to his general officers, who, with 
one exception, became unanimous in their decision that Andre should 
be shot. 

|HAT exception was found in General 
Greene, the president of the court. 
" Andre," said he, " is either a spy or 
an innocent man. If the latter, to exe- 
cute him, in any way, will be murder ; 
if the former, the mode of his death is 
prescribed by law, and you have no right 
to alter it. Nor is this all. At the present 
alarming crisis of our affairs, the public safety calls for a solemn and 
impressive example. Nothing can satisfy it, short of the execution 
of the prisoner, as a common spy ; a character of which his own 
confession has clearly convicted him. Beware how you suffer your 
feelings to triumph over your judgment. Indulgence to one may be 
death to thousands. Besides, if you shoot the prisoner, instead of 
hanging him, you will excite suspicion, which you will be unable to 
allay. Notwithstanding all your efforts to the contrary, you will 
awaken public compassion, and the belief will become general, that, 
in the case of Major Andre, there vrere exculpatory circumstances, 
entitling him to lenity, beyond what he received — perhaps, entitling 
him to pardon. Hang him, therefore, or set him free." 

This reasoning being considered conclusive, the prisoner suffered 
as a common spy. 

We have now advanced to that period of the revolutionary war, in 
which the situation of Greene is about to experience an entire change 


]No longer acting in the vicinity, or subject to the immediate orders 
of a superior, we are to behold him, in future, removed to a distance, 
and virtually invested with the supreme command of a large section 
of the United States, 

Congress, dissatisfied with the loss of the southern army, resolved 
that the conduct of General Gates should be submitted to the examina- 
tion of a court of inquiry, and the commander-in-chief directed to 
appoint an officer to succeed him. In compliance with the latter part 
of the resolution. General Washington, without hesitation, offered 
the appointment to General Greene. In a letter to Congress, recom- 
mending the general to the support of that body, he made the most 
honorable mention of him as " an officer in whose abilities, fortitude 
and integrity, from a long and intimate experience of them, he had 
the most entire confidence." Writing to Mr. Matthews, a member 
from Charleston, he says, " You have your wish, in the officer 
appointed to the southern command. I think I am giving you a gen- 
eral ; but what can a general do without arms, without clothing, 
without stores, without provisions." 

General Greene arrived at Charlotte, the head-quarters of General 
Gates, December 2d, 1780, and in entering on the duties of hin 
command, he found himself in a situation that was fearfully embarrass- 
ing. His army, consisting mostly of militia, amounted to less than 
two thousand men, and he found on hand but three days' provision, 
and a very defective supply of ammunition. In front was an- enemy, 
proud in victory, and too strong to be encountered. With such 
means, and under such circumstances, to recover two states, already 
conquered, and protect a third, constituted a task that was almost 

It was not merely to meet an enemy in the field, to command 
skilfully, and fight bravely, either in proffered or accepted battle. 
These operations depend on mere professional qualifications, that 
can be readily acquired by moderate capacities. But to raise and 
provide for an army in a dispirited and devastated country, creating 
resources where they do not exist, to operate with an incompetent 
force on an extended and broken line of frontier ; to hold in check, 
in many points, and to avoid coming into contact in any, with an 
enemy superior in numbers and discipline ; — to conduct a scheme of 
warfare like this, and such, precisely, was that which tested the 
abilities of General Greene, requires a genius of the highest order, 
combined with indefatigable industry and skill. 

Preparatory to the commencement of the campaign, Greene's first 
care was to prepare for his troops subsistence and ammunition, and 
in effecting this, he derived great aid from his personal experience in 

118 GRE E N K. 

the business of the commissary and quartermaster's departments 
This quahfication for such a diversity of duties, presented him to the 
troops in the two-fold relation of their supporter and commander. 
Much of the moral strength of an army consists in a confidence in 
its leader, an attachment to his person, and a spirit of subordination, 
founded on principle. To such an extent was this true, that even 
the common soldiery, sensible of the superintendence of a superior 
intellect, predicted confidently a change of fortune. Their defeat at 
Camden was soon forgotten by them, in their anticipations of future 
victory. They fancied themselves ready once more to take the field, 
and felt a solicitude to regain their lost reputation, and signalize their 
prowess in presence of their new and beloved commander. 

But, notwithstanding the spirit and confidence of his troops, 
Greene found himself unable to meet the enemy in the field. With 
Washington in his eye, and his own genius to devise his measures, 
he resolved on cautious movements and protracted war. Yet, to 
sustain the spirit of the country, it was necessary that he should not 
altogether shun his enemy ; but watching and confronting his scouts 
and foraging parties, fight, cripple, and beat him in detail ; and in all 
his movements, it was necessary for him to maintain a communica-. 
tion with Virginia, from which he was to receive supplies of provisions, 
munitions, and men. 

General Greene's first movement from the village of Charlotte, 
was productive of the happiest effect. In the month of December 
he marched, with his main army, to the Cheraw Hills, about seventy 
miles to the right of Lord Cornwallis, despatching, at the same time, 
General Morgan, with four hundred continentals under Colonel 
Howard, Colonel Washington's corps of dragoons, and a few militia, 
amounting in all to six hundred, to take a position on the British left, 
distant from them about fifty miles. 

This judicious disposition, which formed a rallying point for the 
friends of independence, both in the east and west, and facilitated the 
procurement of provisions for the troops, excited his lordship's 
apprehensions for the safety of Ninety-Six and Augusta, British 
posts, which he considered as menaced by the movements of Morgan, 
and gave rise to a train of movements which terminated in the cele- 
brated battle of the Cowpens. 

Cornwallis, immediately on learning the movements of Greene, 
despatched Colonel Tarlton with a strong detachment, amounting, 
in horse and foot, to near a thousand, for the protection of Ninety- 
Six, with orders to bring General Morgan, if possible, to battle. 
Greatly superior in numbers, he advanced on Morgan with a mena- 
cing aspect, and compelled him, at first, to fall back rapidly. But 



Earl Cornwallis. 

this was not long continued. Glorying in action, and relying with 
great confidence in the spirit and firmness of his regular troops, 
Morgan halted at the Cowpens, and prepared to give his adversary 
battle. The opportunity was eagerly seized by Tarlton. An engage- 
ment was the immediate consequence, and a complete victory was 
obtained by the Americans. Upwards of five hundred of the British 
laid down their arms and were made prisoners, and a very consider 
able number were killed. Eight hundred stand of arms, two field 
pieces, and thirty-five baggage wagons fell to the victors, who had 
only twelve killed and sixty wounded. 

The victory of the Cowpens, although achieved under the imme- 
diate command of Morgan, was the first stroke of General Greene's 
policy in the south, and augured favorably of his future career. It 
led to one of the most arduous, ably conducted, and memorable opera- 
tions, that occurred in the course of the revolutionary war — the 

120 GREENE. 

retreat of Greene, and the pursuit of Cornwallis, during the inclem 
eucies of winter, a distance of two hundred and thirty miles. 

Galled in his pride, and crippled in his schemes, by the overthrow 
of Tarlton, Lord Cornwallis resolved, by a series of prompt and 
vigorous measures, to avenge the injury and retrieve the loss which 
the royal arms had sustained at the Cowpens. His meditated opera- 
tions for this purpose, were to advance rapidly on Morgan, retake his 
prisoners, and destroy his force ; to maintain an intermediate position, 
and prevent his union with General Greene : or, in case of the junc- 
tion of the two armies, to cut off their retreat towards Virginia, and 
force them to action. 

But General Greene, no less vigilant and provident than himself, 
informed, by express, of the defeat of Tarlton, instantly perceived 
the object of his lordship, and ordering his troops to proceed under 
General Huger, to Salisbury, where he meditated a junction with 
Morgan's detachment, he himself, escorted by a few dragoons, set 
out for the head-quarters of that officer, and joined him shortly after. 

Cornwallis having committed to the flames his heavy baggage, 
and reduced his army to the condition of light troops, dashed towards 
Morgan. And here commenced the retreat of General Greene, in 
the course of which he displayed such resources, and gained, in the 
end, such lasting renown. Sensible of the immense prize for which 
he was contending, he tasked his genius to the uttermost. On the 
issue of the struggle was staked, not merely the lives of a few brave 
men ; not alone the existence of the whole army, but the fate of the 
south and the integrity of the Union. But his genius was equal to 
the crisis. By the most masterly movements, Greene effected a 
junction of the two divisions of his little army. 

To his great mortification. Lord Cornwallis now perceived that in 
two of his objects, the destruction of Morgan's detachment, and the 
prevention of its union with the main division, he was completely 
frustrated by the activity of Greene. But to cut off the retreat of 
the Americans into Virginia, after their union, and to compel them 
to action, was still, perhaps, practicable, and to the achievement of 
this he now directed his undivided energies. 

The genius of Greene, however, did not desert him on this trying 
occasion. Self-collected, and adapting his conduct to the nature of 
the crisis, his firmness grew with the increase of danger ; and the 
measure of his greatness, was the extent of the difficulties he was 
called to encounter. Notwithstanding the vigilance and activity of 
his enemy, he brought his men in safety into Virginia, and to crown 
the whole, no loss was sustained by him, either in men, munitions, 
artillery, or any thing that enters into the equipment of an army. 


Frustrated thus in all his purposes, Lord Cornwallis, although the 
pursuing- party, must be acknowledged to have been fairly vanquished 
Victory is the successful issue of a struggle for superiority. Military 
leaders contend for different objects ; to vanquish their enemies, in 
open conflict ; to attack and overthrow^ them by stratagem and sur- 
prise ; to exhaust their resources by delay of action ; or to elude 
them, in retreat, until strengthened by reinforcements, they may be 
able to turn and meet them in the field. Of this last description, was 
the victory of Greene, in this memorable retreat. 

N Virginia, General Greene received some reinforce- 
ments, and had the promise of more ; on which he 
returned again into North Carolina, where, on their 
arrival, he hoped to be able to act on the offensive. 
He encamped in the vicinity of Lord Cornwallis's army. 
By a variety of the best concerted manoeuvres, he so judiciously 
supported the arrangement of his troops, by the secrecy and prompti- 
tude of his motions, that, during three weeks, while the enemy re- 
mained near him, he prevented them from taking any advantage of 
their superiority ; and even cut off all opportunity of their receiving 
succors from the royalists. 

About the beginning of March he effected a junction with a conti- 
nental regiment, and two considerable bodies of Virginia and Carolina 
militia. He then determined on attacking the British commander, 
without loss of time, " being persuaded," as he declared on his sub- 
sequent despatches, "that if he was successful, it would prove ruinous 
to the enemy, and, if otherwise, that it would be but a partial evil to 
him." On the 14th, he arrived at Guilford Court-house, the British 
then lying at twelve miles distance. 

His army consisted of about four thousand five hundred men, of 
whom near two-thirds were North Carolina and Virginia militia. 
The British were about two thousand four hundred, all regular troops, 
and the greater part inured to toil and service in their long expedi- 
tion under Lord Cornwallis, who, on the morning of the 1 5th, being 
apprised of General Greene's intentions, marched to meet him. The 
latter disposed his army in three lines : the militia of North Caro- 
lina were in front ; the second line was composed of those of Vir- 
ginia ; and the third, which was the flower of the clrmy, was formed 
of continental troops, near fifteen hundred in number. They were 
flanked on both sides by cavalry and riflemen, and posted on a rising 
ground, a mile and a half from Guilford Court-house. 

The engagement commenced at half an hour after one o'clock, 
by a brisk cannonade ; after which the British advanced in three 
columns and attacked the first line, composed of North Carolina 

122 GREENE. 

militia. These, who probably had never been in action before, were 
panic-struck at the approach of the enemy, and many of them ran 
away without firing a gun or being fired upon, and even before the 
British had come nearer than one hundred and forty yards to them. 
Part of them, however, fired ; but they then followed the example 
of their comrades. Their officers made every possible effort to rally 
them ; but neither the advantages of position, nor any other consi- 
deration, could induce them to maintain their ground. This shameful 
conduct had a great effect upon the issue of the battle. The next 
line, however, behaved much better. They fought with great 
bravery ; and were thrown into disorder ; rallied, returned to the 
charge, and kept up a heavy fire for a long time ; but were at length 
broken and driven on the third line, when the engagement became 
general, very severe, and very bloody. At length, superiority of dis- 
cipline carried the day from superiority of numbers. The conflict 
endured an hour and a half, and was terminated by General Greene's 
ordering a retreat, when he perceived that the enemy were on the 
point of encircling his troops." 

This was a hard fought action, and the exertions of the two rival 
generals, both in preparing for this action, and during the course of 
it, were never surpassed. Forgetful of every thing but the fortune 
of the day, they, on several occasions, mingled in the danger like 
common soldiers. 

The loss sustained by the Americans in this battle, amounted, in 
killed and wounded, to only about 400 ; while in its effect on the 
enemy it was murderous ; nearly one third of them, including many 
officers of distinction, were killed and wounded. 

The result of this conflict, although technically a defeat, was vir- 
tually a victory on the part of General Greene. In its relation to 
his adversary, it placed him on higher ground than he had previously 
occupied, enabling him, immediately afterward, instead of retreating, 
to become the pursuing party. This is evidenced by his conduct 
soon after the action. 

Not doubting that Lord Cornwallis would follow him, he retreated 
slowly, and in good order, from the field of battle, until attaining, at 
the distance of a few miles, an advantageous position, he again drew 
up his forces, determined to renew the contest on the arrival of his 
enemy. But his lordship was in no condition to pursue. Having, 
by past experience, not to be forgotten, learnt that his adversary was 
a Ulysses in wisdom, he now perceived that he was an Ajax in 
strength. Alike expert in every mode of warfare, and not to be van- 
quished, either by stratagem or force, he found him too formidable to 
be again approached. 


Influenced by these sentiments, Lord Cornwallis, instead of pur- 
suing his foe, or even maintaining his ground, commenced his retreat, 
leaving behind him about seventy of his wounded, whom he recom- 
mended, in a letter written by himself, to the humanity and attention 
of the American chief. 

Had General Greene been in a situation to pursue his lordship as 
soon as he commenced his retreat, the destruction of that officer and 
his army would have been inevitable. Some spot on the plains of 
Carolina would have witnessed the surrender that was reserved for 
Virginia ; and the hero of the south would have won the laurels 
which, shortly afterwards, decorated the brow of the hero of the 
nation. But Greene's military stores were so far expended that he 
could not pursue until he received a supply ; and the delay, thus 
occasioned, gave time to the British commander to effect his escape. 
Having received his supplies, Greene immediately pursued the 
enemy ; but the advanced position of Lord Cornwallis, and the 
impracticable condition of the roads, frustrated every exertion that 
General Greene could make to compel the enemy to a second engage- 
ment, — convinced of this, he halted to indulge his troops in that 
refreshment and repose which they so much needed. 

Were we to indicate the period in the life of General Greene most 
strongly marked by the operations, and irradiated by the genius of a 
great commander, we would, without hesitation, select that which 
extends from the commencement of his retreat before Cornwallis, to 
the termination of his pursuit of him at this time. Perhaps a brighter 
era does not adorn the military career of any leader. It was in the 
course of it that he turned the current of adverse fortune consequent 
on the defeat of Gates, which he afterwards directed with such cer- 
tain aim and irresistible force, as to keep the enemy from his numerous 
strong-holds in the southern department, and contributed so pre- 
eminently to the speedy and felicitous issue of the war. 

Having abandoned the pursuit of the British army, the general 
again found himself encircled with difficulties. Of the southern 
department of the Union, over which Greene's command extended, 
the enemy was in force in three large and important sections. 
Georgia and South Carolina were entirely in their possession ; 
Lord Cornwallis had taken post in the maritime district of North 
Carolina, and part of Virginia was occupied by a powerful detach- 
ment of British troops, under the command of General Phillips. 
At a loss to determine in which of these points he should act in 
person, he consulted his officers, and found them greatly divided 
in opinion. He however, resolved, in accordance to the view^s of 
Colonel Lee, that, leaving his lordship, whose object evidently was 

124 GREENE. 

the invasion of Virginia, to be met by 
the energies of that state, with such 
assistance as might arrive from the 
north, he should penetrate South Caro- 
lina, his army divided into two columms, 
attack and beat the enemy at their dif- 
ferent posts, without permitting them to 
concentrate their forces, and thus re- 
cover that rich and important member 
of the Union. 

An officer who had distinguished 
Colonel Lee. himself in the late action, not satis- 

fied with the proposed plan of operations, asked General Greene 
by way of remonstrance, — " "What will you do, sir, in case Lord 
Cornwallis throws himself in your rear, and cuts off your communi- 
cation with Virginia ?" — " I will punish his temerity," replied the 
general with great pleasantness, " by ordering you to charge him as 
you did at the battle of Guilford. But never fear, sir ; his lordship 
has too much good sense ever again to risk his safety so far from the 
seaboard. He has just escaped ruin, and he know^s it, and I am 
greatly mistaken in his character as an officer, if he has not the 
capacity to profit by experience." 

On the 7th of April, General Greene broke up his encampment, 
and with the main column of his army, moving to the south, took 
position on Hobkirk's Hill, in front of Camden, the head-quarters of 
Lord Rawdon, now the commander-in-chief of the British forces in 
the south. 

The strength of the British position, which was covered on the 
south and east side by a river and creek ; and to the westward and 
northward, by six redoubts ; rendered it impracticable to carry it. by 
storm, with the small army Greene had, consisting of about seven 
hundred continentals, the militia having gone home. He, therefore, 
encamped at about a mile from the town, in order to prevent supplies 
from being brought in, and to take advantage of such favorable cir- 
cumstances as might occur. 

Lord Rawdon's situation was extremely dehcate. Colonel Wat- 
son, whom he had some time before detached, for the protection of 
the eastern frontiers, and to whom he had, on the intelligence of 
General Greene's intentions, sent orders to return to Camden, was 
go effijctually watched by General Marion, that it was impossible for 
him to obey. His lordship's supplies were, moreover, very preca- 
rious ; and should General Greene's reinforcements arrive, he might 
be so closely invested, as to be at length obliged to surrender. In 



Lord Ra-wdon. 

this dilemma, the best expedient tnat suggested itself, was a bold 
attack ; for which purpose, he armed every person with him capable 
of carrying a musket, not excepting his musicians and drummers. 
He sallied out on the 25th of April, and attacked General Greene in 
his camp. The defence was obstinate ; and for some part of the 
engagement the advantage appeared to be in favor of America. 
Lieutenant-Colonel Washington, who commanded the cavalry, had 
at one time not less than two hundred British prisoners. However, 
by the misconduct of one of the American regiments, victory was 
snatched from General Greene, who was compelled to retreat. He 
lost in the action about two hundred killed, wounded, and prisoners. 
Rawdon lost about two hundred and fifty-eight. 

There was a great similarity between the consequences of the 
affair at Guilford, and those of this action. In the former, Lord 

126 GREENE. 

Cornwallis was successful, but was afterwards obliged to retreat two 
hundred miles from the scene of action, and for a time abandoned 
the grand object of penetrating to the northward. In the latter, Lord 
Rawdon had the honor of the field, but was shortly after reduced to 
the necessity of abandoning his post, and leaving behind him a num- 
ber of sick and wounded. 

The evacuation of Camden, with the vigilance of General Greene, 
and the several officers he employed, gave a new complexion to aff'airs 
in South Carolina, where the British ascendency declined more 
rapidly than it had been established. The numerous forts, garrisoned 
by the enemy, fell one after the other, into the hands of the Ameri- 
cans. Orangeburgh, Motte, Watson, Georgetown, Granby, and others, 
Fort Ninety-Six excepted, were surrendered ; and a very considerable 
number of prisoners of war, with military stores and artillery, were 
found in them. 

On the 22d of May, General Greene sat down before Ninety-Six, 
with the main part of his little army. The siege was carried on for 
a considerable time with great spirit, and the place was defended 
with equal bravery. At length the works were so far reduced, that 
a surrender must have been made in a few days, when a reinforce- 
ment of three regiments, from Europe, arrived at Charleston, which 
enabled Lord Rawdon to proceed to relieve this important post. The 
superiority of the enemy's force reduced General Greene to the alter- 
native of abandoning the siege altogether, or previous to their arrival, 
of attempting the fort by storm. The latter was more agreeable to 
his enterprising spirit, and an attack was made on the morning of the 
19th of June. He was repulsed with the loss of one hundred and 
fifty men. He raised the siege, and retreated over the Saluda. 

Dr. Ramsay, speaking of the state of affairs about this period, 
says, " Truly distressing was the situation of the American army ; 
when in the grasp of victory, to be obliged to expose themselves to 
a hazardous assault, and afterward to abandon a siege. "When they 
were nearly masters of the whole country, to be compelled to retreat 
to its extremity ; and after subduing the greatest part of the force 
sent against them, to be under the necessity of encountering still 
greater reinforcements, when their remote situation precluded them 
from the hope of receiving a single recruit. In this gloomy situation, 
there were not wanting persons who advised General Greene to leave 
the state, and retire with his remaining forces to Virginia. To argu- 
ments and suggestions of this kind, he nobly replied, ' I will recover 
the country, or die in the attempt.' This distinguished officer, 
whose genius was most vigorous in those extremities, when feeble 
minds abandon themselves to despair, adopted the only resource now 



General Marion. 

left him, of avoiding an engagement, until the British force should 
be divided." 

Greene having, without loss, made good his passage over the rivers 
in front, Lord Rawdon, perceiving the futility of any further attempt 
to overtake him, abandoned the pursuit, and retreating to Ninety-Six, 
prepared for its evacuation. Thus did the policy of Greene, which 
is moral strength, compel the surrender of that fortress, although 
from a want of physical strength, he failed to carry it by the sword. 

No sooner had Lord Rawdon commenced his retrograde movement 
towards Ninety-Six than General Greene changed his front, and 
moved in the same direction. On the breaking up of the garrison of 
Ninety-Six, and the return of Lord Rawdon towards Charleston, 
which immediately ensued, the British army moved in two columns, 
at a considerable distance from each other. It was then that General 
Greene became, in reality, the pursuing party, exceedingly anxious 
to bnng the enemy to battle. But this he was unable to accomplish 
until September. 

September the 9th, General Greene having assembled about two 
thousand men, proceeded to attack the British, who, under the com- 
mand of Colonel Stewart, were posted at the Eutaw Springs. The 
American force was drawn up in two lines : the first, composed of 
Carolina militia, was commanded by Generals Marion and Pickens, 

128 GREENE. 

and Colonel de Malmedy. The second, which consisted of conti- 
nental troops, from North Carolina, Virginia, and Maryland, was 
commanded by General Sumpter, Lieutenant-Colonel Campbell, and 
Colonel Williams ; Lieutenant-Colonel Lee, with his .legion, covered 
the right flank ; and Lieutenant-Colonel Henderson, with the state 
troops, covered the left. A corps de reserve was formed of the cavalry 
under Lieutenant-Colonel Washington, and the Delaware troops 
under Captain Kirkwood. As the Americans came forward to the 
attack, they fell in with some advanced parties of the enemy, at 
about two or three miles ahead of the main body. These being 
closely pursued, were driven back, and the action soon became gene- 
ral. The militia were at length forced to give way, but were bravely 
supported by the second line. In the hottest part of the engagement, 
General Greene ordered the Maryland and Virginia continentals to 
charge with trailed arms. This decided the fate of the day. " No- 
thing," says Dr. Ramsay, " could surpass the intrepidity of both 
officers and men on this occasion. They rushed on in good order 
through a heavy cannonade, and a shower of musketry, with such 
unshaken resolution, that they bore down all before them." The 
British were broken, closely pursued, and upwards of five hundred 
of them were taken prisoners. They, however, made a fresh stand 
in a favorable position, m impenetrable shrubs and a piqueted garden. 
Lieutenant- Colonel Washing-ton, after having made every effort to 
dislodge them, was wounded and taken prisoner. Four six pounders 
were brought forward to play upon them, but they fell into their 
hands ; and the endeavors to drive them from their station, being 
found impracticable, the Americans retired, leaving a very strong 
picket on the field of battle. Their loss was about five hundred ; 
that of the British upwards of eleven hundred. 

General Greene was honored by Congress with a British standard, 
and a gold medal, emblematical of the engagement, " for his wise, 
decisive, and magnanimous conduct, in the action at Eutaw Springs, 
in which, with a force inferior in number to that of the enemy, he 
obtained a most signal victory." 

In the evening of the succeeding day. Colonel Stewart abandoned 
his post and retreated towards Charleston, leaving behind upwards 
of seventy of his wounded, and a thousand stand of arms. He was 
pursued a considerable distance, but in vain. 

In Dr. Caldwell's memoirs of the life of General Greene, we have 
the following interesting story as connected with the severe conflict 
at Eutaw Springs. 

" Two young officers, bearing the same rank, met in personal com- 
bat. The American, perceiving that the Briton had a decided supe- 


riority in the use of the sabre, and being himself of great activity 
and personal strength, almost gigantic, closed with his adversary and 
made him his prisoner. 

" Gentlemanly, generous, and high-minded, this event, added to a 
personal resemblance w^hich they were observed to bear to each other, 
produced between these two youthful warriors an intimacy, which 
increased in a short time to a mutual attachment. 

" Not long after the action, the American officer returning home 
on furlough, to settle some private business, obtained permission for 
his friend to accompany him. 

" Travelling without attendants or guard, they were both armed 
and well mounted. Part of their route lay through a settlement 
highly disaffected to the American cause. 

*' When in the midst of this, having, in consequence of a shower of 
rain, thrown around them their cloaks, which concealed their uni- 
forms, they were suddenly encountered by a detachment of tories. 

" The young American, determined to die rather than become a 
prisoner, especially to men whom he held in abhorrence for disloyalty 
to their country, and the generous Briton resolved not to survive one 
by whom he had been distinguished and treated so kindly, they both 
together, with great spirit and self-possession, charged the royalists, 
having first made signals in their rear, as if directing others to follow 
them ; and thus, without injury on either side, had the address and 
good fortune to put the party to flight. 

" Arriving in safety at their place of destination, what was their 
surprise and augmented satisfaction on finding, from some questions 
proposed by the American officer's father, that they were first cousins ! 

" With increasing delight, the young Briton passed several weeks 
in the family of his kinsman, where the writer of this narrative saw 
him daily, and often listened with the rapture of a child, to the 
checkered story of his military adventures. 

" To heighten the occurrence, and render it more romantic, the 
American officer had a sister, beautiful and accomplished, whose heart 
soon felt for the gallant stranger, more than the affection due to a 
cousin. The attachment was mutual. 

" But here the adventure assumed a tragical cast. The youthful 
foreigner, being exchanged, was summoned to return to his regiment. 
The message was fatal to his peace. But military honor demanded 
the sacrifice ; and the lady, generous and high-minded as himself, 
would not be instrumental in dimming his laurels. The parting scene 
was a high-wrought picture of tenderness and sorrow. On taking 
leave, the parties mutually bound themselves, by a solemn promise, 
to remain single a certain number of years, in the hope that an 

132 GREENE. 

arrangement contemplated, might again bring them togethei. A 
few weeks afterwards, the lady expired under an attack of the small- 
pox. The fate of the officer we never learnt." 

Judge Johnson, in his life of General Greene, says — " At the battle 
of the Eutaw Springs, Greene says, ' that hundreds of my men were 
naked as they were born.' Posterity will scarcely believe that the 
bare loins of many brave men who carried death into the enemy's 
ranks at the Eutaw, were galled by their cartouch boxes, while a 
folded rag or a tuft of moss protected the shoulders from sustaining 
the same injury from the musket. Men of other times will inquire, 
by what magic was the army, kept together ? By what supernatural 
power was it made to fight ?" 

General Greene, in his letters to the secretary at war, says — "We 
have three hundred men without arms, and more than one thousand 
so naked that they can be put on duty only in cases of a desperate 
nature." Again he says — " Our difficulties are so numerous, and 
our wants so pressing, that I have not a moment's relief from the 
most painful anxieties, I have more embarrassments than it is proper 
to disclose to the world. Let it suffice to say that this part of the 
United States has had a narrow escape. I have been seven months in 
the field without taking off my clothes.^^ 

The battle of Eutaw Springs being terminated. General Greene 
ordered the light troops under Lee and Marion to march circuitously, 
and gain a position in the British rear. But the British leader was 
so prompt in his measures, and so precipitate in his movements, that, 
leaving his sick and wounded behind him, he made good his retreat. 
The only injury he received in his flight, was from Lee and Marion, 
who cut off part of his rear guard, galled him in his flanks, killed 
several, and made a number of prisoners. 

Such was the issue of the battle of Eutaw. Like that of every 
other fought by General Greene, it manifested in him judgment and 
sagacity of the highest order. Although he was repeatedly forced 
from the field, it may be truly said of that officer, that he never lost 
an action — the consequences, at least, being always in his favor. In 
no instance did he fail to reduce his enemy to a condition, relatively 
much worse than that in which he met him, his own condition of 
course, being relatively improved. 

The battle of the Eutaw Springs, was the last essay in arms in 
which it was the fortune of General Greene to command, and was 
succeeded by the abandonment of the whole of South Carolina by 
the enemy, except Charleston. During the relaxation that followed, 
a dangerous plot was formed by some mutinous persons of the army, 
to deliver up their brave general to the British. The plot was dis- 


covered and defeated ; the ringleader apprehended, tried, and shot ; 
and twelve of the most guilty of his associates deserted to the enemy. 
To the honor of the American character, no native of the country 
was known to be concerned in this conspiracy. Foreigners alone 
were its projectors and abettors. 

The surrender of Lord Cornwallis, whose enterprising spirit had 
been, by the British ministry, expected to repair the losses, and wipe 
away the disgrace which had been incurred through the inactivity 
and indolence of other generals, having convinced them of the im- 
practicability of subjugating America, they discontinued offensive 
operations in every quarter. The happy period at length arrived, 
when, by the virtue and bravery of her sons, aided by the bounty of 
heaven, America compelled her invaders to acknowledge her inde- 
pendence. Then her armies quitted the tented field, and retired to 
cultivate the arts of peace and happmess. Gen. Greene immediately 
withdrew from the south, and returned to the bosom of his native 

The reception he there experienced was cordial and joyous. The 
authorities welcomed him home with congratulatory addresses, and 
the chief men of the place waited upon him at his dwelling, eager to 
testify their gratitude for his services, their admiration of his talents 
and virtues, and the pride with which they recognized him as a native 
of Rhode Island. 

On che close of the war, the three southern states that had been 
the most essentially benefited by his wisdom and valor, manifested 
at once their sense of justice and their gratitude to General Greene, 
by liberal donations. South Carolina presented him with an estate, 
valued at ten thousand pounds sterling ; Georgia, with an estate, a 
few miles from the city of Savannah, worth five thousand pounds ; 
and North Carolina, with twenty-five thousand acres of land in the 
state of Tennessee. 

Having spent about two years in his native state, in the adjustment 
of his private affairs, he sailed for Georgia, in October, 1785, and 
settled with his family, on his estate near Savannah. Engaging here 
in agricultural pursuits, he employed himself closely in arrangements 
for planting, exhibiting the fairest promise to become as eminent in 
the practice of the peaceful virtues, as he had already shown himself 
in the occupations of war. 

But it was the will of Heaven, that in this new sphere of action 
his course should be limited. The short period of seven months was 
destined to witness its commencement and its close. 

Walking over his grounds, as was his custom, without his hat, on 
the afternoon of the 15th June, 1786, the day being intensely hot, 

134 grejene. 

he was suddenly attacked with such a vertigo and prostration of 
strength as to be unable to return to his house without assistance. 
The affection was what was denominated a " stroke of the sun." It 
was succeeded by fever, accompanied with stupor, delirium, and a 
disordered stomach. All efforts to subdue it proving fruitless, it ter- 
minated fatally on the 19th of the month. 

Intelligence of the event being conveyed to Savannah, but one 
feeling pervaded the place. Sorrow was universal, and the whole 
town instinctively assumed the aspect of mourning. All business was 
suspended, the dwelling-houses, stores, and shops, were closed, and 
the shipping in the harbor half-masted their colors. 

On the following day the body of the deceased, being conveyed to 
the town, at the request of the inhabitants, was interred in a private 
cemetery with military honors ; the magistrates of the place, and 
other public officers, the society of the Cincinnati, and the citizens 
generally, joined in the procession 

On the 12th of August, of the year in which the general died, the 
Congress of the United States unanimously resolved — " That a 
monument be erected to the memory of the Honorable Nathaniel 
Greene, at the seat of the Federal Government, with the following 
inscription : 







The 19th of June, 










To the disgrace of the nation, no monument has been erected ; 
nor, for the want of a headstone, can any one at present designate 
the spot, where the relics of the Hero of the South lie interred. 


In estimating the military character of General Greene, facts 
authorize the inference, that he possessed a genius adapted by na- 
ture to military command. After resorting to arms, his attainment 
to rank was much more rapid, than that of any other officer our 
country has produced; perhaps the mosif rapid that history records. 
These offices, so high in responsibility and honor, were conferred on 
him, not as matters of personal favor, or family influence, nor yet 
through the instrumentality of political intrigue. They were rewards 
of pre-eminent merit, and tokens of recognized fitness for the highest 
functions of military service. . 

It is said, that, on his very first appearance in th^ camp at Cam- 
bridge, from the ardor of his zeal, unremitted activity, and strict 
attention to every duty, he was pronounced by soldiers of distinction, 
a man of real military genius. 

" His knowledge" (said General Knox to a distinguished citizen 
of South Carolina,) " is intuitive. He came to us the rawest, and 
most untutored being I ever met with ; but in less than twelve 
months, he was equal in military knowledge to any general officer in 
the army, and very superior to most of them." Even the enemy he 
conquered, did homage to his pre-eminent talents for war. Tarlton, 
who had strong ground to know him, is reported to have pronounced 
him, on a public occasion, the most able and accomplished com- 
mander that America had produced. 

When acting under the order of others, he never failed to dis- 
charge, to their satisfaction, the duties intrusted to him, however 
arduous. But it is the southern department of the Union, that con- 
stitutes the theatre of his achievements and fame. It was there, 
where his views were unshackled, and his genius free, that by per- 
forming the part of a great captain, he erected for himself a monu- 
ment of reputation, durable as history, lofty as victory and conquest 
could render it, and brightened by all that glory could bestow. 

In compliment to his brilliant successes, the chivalric De la Luzerne, 
the minister of France, who as a Knight of Malta, must be considered 
as a competent judge of military merit, thus speaks of him : — " Other 
generals subdue their enemies by the means with which their country, 
or their sovereign furnished them, but Greene appears to subdue his 
enemy by his own means. He commenced his campaign, without 
either an army, provisions, or military stores. He has asked for 
nothing since ; and yet, scarcely a post arrives from the south, that 
does not bring intelligence of some new advantage gained over 
his foe. He conquers by magic. History furnishes no parallel to 


NTHONY WAYNE, a major-general in the 
American army, occupies a conspicuous sta- 
tion among the heroes and patriots of the 
American revolution. He was born January 
1st, 1745, in Chester county, in the state 
of Pennsylvania. His father, Isaac Wayne, 
a respectable farmer, was many years a re- 
presentative for the county of Chester, in 
the general assembly, before the revolution. His grandfather, who 
was distinguished for his attachment to the principles of liberty, bore 
a captain's commission under King William, at the battle of the 
Boyne. Anthony Wayne succeeded his father as representative for 
the county of Chester, in the year 1773 ; and from his first appear- 
ance in public life, distinguished himself as a firm and decided 



patriot. He opposed, with much abihty, the unjust demands of the 
mother country, and in connection with some gentlemen of distin- 
guished talents, was of material service m preparing the way for the 
firm and decisive part which Pennsylvania took in the general 

In 1775, he was appointed to the command of a regiment, which 
his character enabled him to raise in a few weeks in his native county. 
In the same year he was detached under General Thompson into 
Canada. In the defeat which followed, in which General Thompson 
was made a prisoner, Colonel Wayne, though wounded, displayed 
great gallantry and good conduct, in collecting and bringing off the 
scattered and broken bodies of troops. 

In the campaign of 1776, he served under General Gates, at 
Ticonderoga, and was highly esteemed by that officer for both his 
bravery and skill as an engineer. At the close of that campaign he 
was created a brigadier-general. 

At the battle of Brandywine he behaved with his usual bravery, 
and for a long time opposed the progress of the enemy at Chad's 
Ford. In this action the inferiority of the Americans in numbers, 
discipline, and arms, gave them little chance of success ; but the 
peculiar situation of the public mind was supposed to require a battle 
to be risked : the ground was bravely disputed, and the action was 
not considered as decisive. The spirit of the troops was preserved 
by a belief that the loss of the enemy had equalled their own. As 
it was the intention of the American commander-in-chief to hazard 
another action on the first favorable opportunity that should oifer, 
General Wayne was detached, with his division, to harass the enemy 
by every means in his power. The British troops were encamped at 
TredyfFrin, and General Wayne was stationed about three miles in 
the rear of their left wing, near the Paoli tavern ; and from the pre- 
cautions he had taken he considered himself secure ; but about 
eleven o'clock on the night of the 20th September, Major-General 
Gray, having driven in his pickets, suddenly attacked him with fixed 
bayonets. Wayne, unable to withstand the superior number of 
assailants, was obliged to retreat ; but formed again at a small dis- 
tance, having lost about one hundred and fifty killed and wounded. 
As blame was attached by some of the officers of the army to General 
Wayne, for allowing himself to be surprised in this manner, he 
demanded a court martial, which, after examining the necessary 
evidence, declared that he had done every thing to be expected 
from an active, brave, and vigilant officer, and acquitted him with 

A neat marble monument has been recently erected on the battle 

138 WAYNE. 

ground, to the memory of the gallant men who fell on the night of 
the 20th September, 1777. 

HORTLY after was fought the battle of German- 
town, in which he greatly signalized himself, by 
his spirited manner of leading his men into action. 
In this action he had one horse shot under him, 
and another a« he was mounting ; and at the same 
instant, received slight wounds in the left foot and 
left hand. 

In all councils of war, Gen. Wayne was distin- 
guished for supporting the most energetic and decisive measures. In 
the one previous to the battle of Monmouth, he and Gen. Cadwalader 
were the only officers decidedly in favor of attacking the British army. 
The American officers are said to have been influenced by the opinions 
of the Europeans. The Baron de Steuben, and Generals Lee and 
Du Portail, whose military skill was in high estimation, had warmly 
opposed an engagement, as too hazardous. But General Washing- 
ton, whose opinion was in favor of an engagement, made such dispo- 
sition as would be most likely to lead to it. In that action, so 
honorable to the American arms. General Wayne was conspicuous 
in the ardor of his attack. General Washington, in- his letter to 
Congress, observes, "Were I to conclude my account of this day's 
transactions without expressing my obligations to the officers of the 
army in general, I should do injustice to their merit, and violence to 
my own feelings. ,They seemed to vie with each other in manifesting 
their zeal and bravery. The catalogue of those who distinguished 
themselves, is too long to admit of particularizing individuals. I 
cannot, however, forbear mentioning Brigadier-General Wayne, 
whose good conduct and bravery, throughout the whole action, 
deserves particular comm.endation." 

" Among the many exploits of gallantry and prowess which shed a- 
lustre on the fame of our revolutionary army, the storming the fort at 
Stony Point has always been considered one of the most brilliant. 

" To General Wayne, who commanded the light infantry of the 
army, the execution of the plan was intrusted. Secrecy was deemed 
so much more essential to success than numbers, that it was thought 
unadvisable to add to the force already on the lines. One brigade 
was ordered to commence its march so as to reach the scene of 
action in time to cover the troops engaged in the attack, in case 
of any unlocked for disaster ; and Major Lee, of the light dragoons, 
who had been eminently useful in obtaining the intelligence which 
led to the enterprise, was associated with General Wayne, as far as 
cavalry could be employed in such a ser-'ice. 



Storming of Stony Point. 

The night of the 15th of July, 1779, was fixed on for the assault ; 
and it being suspected that the garrison would probably be more on 
their guard towards day, twelve was chosen for the hour. 

Stony Point is a commanding hill, projecting far into the Hudson, 
which washes three-fourths of its base ; the remaining fourth is in a 
great measure, covered by a deep marsh, commencing near the river 
on the upper side, and continuing into it below. Over this marsh, 
there is only one crossing place. But at its junction with the river 
is a sandy beach, passable at low tide. On the summit of this hill 
was erected the fort, which was furnished with a sufficient number 
of heavy pieces of ordnance. Several breastworks and strong bat- 
teries were advanced in front of the principal work, and about half- 
way down the hill, were two rows of abatis. The batteries were 
calculated to command the beach, and the crossing place of the 
marsh, and to rake and enfilade any column which might be advanc- 
ing from either of those points towards the fort. In addition to these 
defences, several vessels of war were stationed in the river, so as, in 
a considerable degree, to command the ground at the foot of the hill. 

The fort was garrisoned by about six hundred men, under the com- 
mand of Lieutenant-Colonel Johnson. 

At noon of the day preceding the night of attack, the light infantry 
commenced their march from Sandybeach, distant fourteen miles 
from Stony Point, and passing through an excessively rugged and 
mountainous country, arrived about eight in the afternoon at Spring 

140 WA.YNE. 

Steel's, one and a half miles from the fort, where the dispositions for 
the assault were made. 

It was intended to attack the works on the right and left flanks at 
the same instant. The regiment of Febiger, and of Meigs, with 
Major Hull's detachment, formed the right column, and Butler's 
regiment, with two companies under Major Murfree, formed the left. 
One hundred and fifty volunteers, led by Lieutenant-Colonel Fleury 
and Major Posey, constituted the van of the right ; and one hundred 
volunteers under Major Stuart, composed the van of the left. At 
half past eleven, the two columns moved on to the charge, the van 
of each with unloaded muskets and fixed bayonets. They were each 
preceded by a forlorn hope of twenty men, the one commanded by 
Lieutenant Gibbon, and the other by Lieutenant Knox, whose duty 
it was to remove the abatis and other obstructions, in order to open 
a passage for the columns which followed close in the rear. 

Proper measures having been taken to secure every individual on 
the route, who could give intelligence of their approach, the Ameri- 
cans reached the marsh undiscovered. But unexpected difficulties 
having been experienced in surmounting this and other obstructions 
in the way, the assault did not commence until twenty minutes after 
twelve. Both columns then rushed forward, under a tremendous fire 
of musketry and grape shot. Surmounting every obstacle, they 
entered the works at the point of the bayonet, and without having 
discharged a single piece, obtained complete possession of the post. 

The humanity displayed by the conquerors was not less conspi- 
cuous, nor less honorable, than their courage. Not a single indivi- 
dual suffered after resistance had ceased. 

All the troops engaged in this perilous service manifested a degree 
of ardor and impetuosity, which proved them to be capable of the 
most difficult enterprises ; and all distinguished themselves whose 
situation enabled them to do so. Colonel Fleury was the first to 
enter the fort and strike the British standard. Major Posey mounted 
the works almost at the same instant, and was the first to give the 
watchword — " The fort's our own." Lieutenants Gibbon and Knox 
performed the service allotted to them, with a degree of intrepidity 
which could not be surpassed. Out of twenty men who constituted 
the party of ^he former, seventeen were killed or wounded. 

The loss sustained by the garrison was not considerable. The 
return made by Lieutenant-Colonel Johnson, represented their dead 
at only twenty, including one captain, and their wounded, at six offi- 
cers and sixty-eight privates. The return made by General Wayne, 
states their dead at sixty-three, mcludmg two officers. This differ 
ence may be accounted for, by supposing, that among those Colonel 



Johnson supposed to be missing, there were many killed. The pri- 
soners amounted to five hundred and forty-three, among whom were 
one lieutenant-colonel, four captains, and twenty subaltern officers. 
The military stores taken in the fort were also considerable. 

HE loss sustained bythe assailants 
was by no means proportioned to 
the apparent danger of the enter- 
prise. The killed and wounded 
did not exceed one hundred men. 
Gen. Wayne himself, who marched 
^^ at the head of Febiger's regiment, 
in the right column, received a 
slight wound in the head, which 
stunned him for a time, but did not 
compel him to leave the column. 
Being supported by his aids, he en- 
tered the fort with the regiment. 
Lieutenant-Colonel Hay was also 

among the wounded. 
The intrepidity, joined with humanity, its noblest companion, dis- 
played on that occasion by General Wayne and his brave followers, 
cannot be too highly esteemed nor too frequently commemorated. 


The troops will march at — o'clock, and move by the right, making 
a halt at the creek, or run, on this side, next Clement's ; every officer 
and non-commissioned officer will remain with, and be answerable 
for, every man in his platoon ; no soldier to be permitted to quit his 
ranks on any pretext whatever, until a general halt is made, and then 
to be attended by one of the officers of the platoon. 

When the head of the troops arrive in the rear of the hill. Colonel 
Febiger will form his regiment into a solid column of a half platoon in 
front as fast as they come up. Colonel Meigs will form next in Co- 
lonel Febiger's rear, and Major Hull in the rear of Meigs, which will 
form the right column. 

Colonel Butler will form a column on the left of Febiger, and 
Major Murphy in his rear. Every officer and soldier will then fix a 
piece of white paper in the most conspicuous part of his hat or cap, 
as a mark to distinguish them from the enemy. 

At the word march, Colonel Fleury will take charge of one hun- 
dred and -fifty determined and picked men, properly officered, with 
arms unloaded, placing their whole dependence on fixed bayonets, 
who will move about twenty paces in front of the right column, and 

142 WAYNE. 

enter the sally-port ; he is to detach an officer and twenty men a 
little in front, whose business will be to secure the sentries, and 
lemove the abattis and obstructions for the column to pass through. 
The column will follow close in the rear with shouldered muskets, 
led by Colonel Febiger and General Wayne, in person : — when the 
works are forced, and not before^ the victorious troops as they enter 

will give the watchword with repeated and loud voices, and 

drive the enemy from their works and guns, which will favor the pass 
of the whole troops; should the enemy refuse to surrender, or 
attempt to make their escape by water or otherwise, effectual means 
must be used to effect the former and prevent the latter. 

Colonel Butler will move by the route (2,) preceded by one hun- 
dred chosen men with fixed bayonets, properly officered, at the dis- 
tance of twenty yards in front of the column, which will follow under 
Colonel Butler, with shouldered muskets. These hundred will also 
detach a proper officer and twenty men a little in front to remove 
the obstructions ; as soon as they gain the works they will al so 
give and continue the watchword, which will prevent confusion and 

If any soldier presume to take his musket from his shoulder, or to 
fire, or begin the battle until ordered by his proper officer, he shall 
be instantly put to death by the officer next him ; for the misconduct 
of one man is not to put the whole troops in danger or disorder, and 
he be suffered to pass with his life. 

After the troops begin to advance to the works, the strictest silence 
must be observed, and the closest attention paid to the commands 
of the officers. 

The general has the fullest confidence in the bravery and fortitude 
of the corps that he has the happiness to command — the distinguished 
honor conferred on every officer and soldier who has been drafted in 
this corps by his excellency General Washington, the credit of the 
states they respectively belong to, and their own reputations, will be 
such powerful motives for each man to distinguish himself, that the 
general cannot have the least doubt of a glorious victory ; and he 
hereby most solemnly engages to reward the first man that enters 
the works with five hundred dollars, and immediate promotion ; to 
the second four hundred dollars ; to the third three hundred dollars ; 
to the fourth two hundred dollars ; and to the fifth one hundred dol- 
lars ; and will represent the conduct of every officer and soldier who 
distinguishes himself in this action, in the most favorable point 
of view to his Excellency, whose greatest pleasure is in rewarding 

But should there be any soldier so lost to every feeling of honor 

General Wayne's celebrated charge on the British army. 

as to attempt to retreat one single foot, or skulk in the face of danger, 
the officer next to him is immediately to put him to death, that he 
may no longer disgrace the name of a soldier, or the corps or state 
he belongs to. 

As General Wayne is determined to share the danger of the night, 
so he wishes to participate in the glory of the day in common with 
his fellow-soldiers. 

Immediately after the surrender of Stony-Point, General Wayne 
transmitted to the commander-in-chief, the following laconic letter : 

"Stont-Potnt, Ju/y 16, 1779. 1 
« 2 o'clock, A. M. 3 

" Dear General — The fort and garrison, with Col. Johnson, are 
ours ; our officers and men behaved like men determiued to be free. 
" Yours, most sincerely, 

" Anthony Wayne. 
" General Washington." 

In the campaign of 178 1, in which Lord Cornwallis and a British 
army were obliged to surrender prisoners of war, he bore a con- 
spicuous part. His presence of mind never failed him in the most 
critical situations. Of this he gave an eminent example on the James 
river. Having been deceived, by some false information, into a 
belief that the British army had passed the river, leaving but the 

144 WAYNE. 

rear-guard behind, he hastened to attack the latter before it should 
also have effected its passage ; but on pushing through a morass and 
wood, instead of the rear-guard, he found the whole British army 
drawn up close to him. His situation did not admit of a moment's 
deliberation. Conceiving the boldest to be the safest measure, he 
immediately led his small detachment, not exceeding 800 men, to 
the charge, and after a short, but very smart and close firing, in 
which he lost 1 18 of his men, he succeeded in bringing off the rest 
under cover of the wood. Lord Cornwallis, suspecting the attack 
to be a feint, in order to draw him into an ambuscade, would not 
permit his troops to pursue. 

The enemy having made a considerable head in Georgia, Wayne 
was despatched by General Washington to take command of the 
forces in that state, and, after some sanguinary engagements, suc- 
ceeded in establishing security and order. For his services in that 
state, the legislature presented him with a valuable farm 

On the peace, which followed shortly after, he retired to private 
life : but in 1789, we find him a member of the Pennsylvania con- 
vention, and one of those in favor of the present federal constitution 
of the United States. 

In the year 1792, he was appointed to succeed General St. Clair, 
who had resigned the command of the army engaged against the 
Indians on our western frontier. Wayne formed an encampment at 
Pittsburgh, and such exemplary discipline was introduced among the 
new troops, that, on their advance into the Indian country, they 
appeared like veterans. 

The Indians had collected in great numbers, and it was necessary 
not only to rout them, but to occupy their country by a chain of 
posts, that should, for the future, check their predatory incursions. 
Pursuing this regular and systematic mode of advance, the autumn 
of 1793 found General Wayne with his army, at a post in the wilder- 
ness, called Greenville, about six miles in advance of Fort Jefferson, 
where he determined to encamp for the winter, in order to make the 
necessary arrangements for opening the campaign with effect early in 
the following spring. After fortifying his camp, he took possession 
of the ground on which the Americans had been defeated in 1791, 
which he fortified also, and called the work Fort Recovery. Here 
he piously collected, and, with the honors of war, interred the bones 
of the unfortunate although gallant victims of the 4th of November, 
1791. The situation of the army, menacing the Indian villages, 
effectually prevented any attack on the white settlements. The im- 
possibility of procuring the necessary supplies prevented the march 
of the troops till the summer. On the 8th of August, the army arrived 



General Wayne defeating the Indians. 

at the junction of the rivers Au Glaize and Miami of the lakes, wher 
they erected works for the protection of the stores. About thirty 
miles from this place the British had formed a post, in the vicinity 
of which the Indians had assembled their whole force. On the 15th 
the army again advanced down the Miami, and on the 18th arrived 
at the rapids. On the following day they erected some works for 
the protection of the baggage. The situation of the enemy was re- 
connoitered, and they were found posted in a thick wood, in the rear 
of the British fort. On the 20th, the army advanced to the attack. 
The Miami covered the right flank, and on the left were the mounted 
volunteers, commanded by General Todd. After marching about five 
miles. Major Price, who led the advance, received so heavy a fire 
from the Indians, who were stationed behind the trees, that he was 
compelled to fall back. The enemy had occupied a wood in the front 
of the British fort, which, from the quantity of fallen timber, could 
not be entered by the horse. The legion was immediately ordered 
to advance with trailed arms, and rouse them from their covert ; the 
cavalry under Captain Campbell, were directed to pass between the 
Indians and the river, while the volunteers, led by General Scott, 
made a circuit to turn their flank. So rapid, however, was the charge 
of the legion, that before the rest of the army could get into action, 
the enemy were completely routed, and driven through the woods 
for more than two miles, and the troops halted within gun-shot of the 
British fort. All the Indians' houses and cornfields were destroyed, 
this decisive action, the whole loss of General Wayne's army, in 




killed and wounded, amounted only to one hundred and seven men. 
As hostilities continued on the part of the Indians, their whole coun- 
try was laid waste, and forts established, which effectually prevented 
their return. 

The success of this engagement destroyed the enemies' power ; 
and, in the following year, General Wayne concluded a definitive 
treaty of peace with them. 

A life of peril and glory was terminated in December, 1796. He 
had shielded his country from the murderous tomahawk of the savage. 
He had established her boundaries. He had forced her enemies to 
sue for her protection. He beheld her triumphant, rich in arts and 
potent in arms. What more could his patriotic spirit wish to see ! 
He died in a hut on Presque Isle, aged about fifty-one years, and was 
buried on the shore of Lake Erie. 

A few years since his bones were taken up by his son, Isaac 
Wayne, Esq., and entombed in his native county ; and by direction 
of the Pennsylvnia State Society of the Cincinnati, an elegant monu- 
ment was erected. It is constructed of white marble, of the most 
correct symmetry and beauty. 

Hesidence of Gteneral "Wayne, Chester County, Pennsylvania. 


HIS gentleman was formea for eminence in any station, 
His talents were of a high order, and his attainments 
various and extensive. Possessing a person of uncom- 
mon symmetry, and peculiarly distinguished by the 
elegance of his manners he would haA'^e graced, alike, 
a court or a camp. 

Rich in that species of military science which is acquired by experi- 
ence, and a correct, systematic, and severe disciplinarian, General 
Greene confided to him the important trust of adjutant-general to 
the southern army. The services which, in this and other capacities, 
he rendered to that division of the American forces, in the course of 
their toilsome and perilous operations, were beyond all praise. 

He was born in the county of Prince George, in the year 1748, 
and received, during his youth, but a slender education. This he 
so much improved by subsequent study, that few men had a finer 
taste, or a more cultivated intellect. 

He commenced his military career, as lieutenant of a rifle company, 
in 1775 ; and, in the course of the following year, was promoted tc 
the rank of a major in a rifle regiment. 



In this corps he very honorably distinguished himself in the defence 
of Fort Washnigton, on York Island, when assaulted by Sir William 
Howe ; and, on the surrender of that post became a prisoner. 

Having suffered much by close confinement, during his captivity, 
he was exchanged for Major Ackland, after the capture of Burgoyne, 
and immediately rejoined the standard of his country. 

Being now promoted to the rank of colonel of a regiment of 
infantry, he was detached, under the Baron de Kalb, to the army of 
the south. 

General Gates having been appointed to the command of this 
division of the American forces, he was present with that officer, at 
his defeat before Camden ; and during the action manifested great 
valor and skill, in directing- and leading the operations against the 
enemy, while resistance was practicable ; and an equal degree of 
self-possession and address, in conducting the troops from the field, 
when compelled to retreat. 

But as an officer, his valor and skill in battle were among the 
lowest of his qualifications. His penetration and sagacity, united to 
a profound judgment, and a capacious mind, rendered him, in the 
cabinet, particularly valuable. 

Hence he was one of General Greene's favorite counsellors, during 
the whole of his southern campaigns. Nor did any thing ever occur, 
either through neglect or mistake, to impair the confidence thus 
reposed in him. In no inconsiderable degree, he was to Greene, 
what that officer had been to General Washington, his strongest hope 
in all emergencies, where great policy and address were required. 

This was clearly manifested by the post assigned to him by General 
Greene, during his celebrated retreat through North Carolina. 

In that great and memorable movement, on which the fate of the 
South was staked, to Williams was confided the command of the 
rear-guard, which was literally the shield and rampart of the army. 
Had he relaxed, but for a moment, in his vigilance and exertion, or 
been guilty of a single imprudent act, ruin must have ensued. 

Nor was his command much less momentous, when, recrossing the 
Dan, Greene again advanced on the enemy. Still in the post of 
danger and honor, he now, in the van of the army, commanded the 
same corps with which he had previously moved in the rear, 

A military friend, who knew him well, has given us the following 
summary of his character : 

" He possessed that range of mmd, although self-educated, which 
entitled him to the highest military station, and was actuated bv true 
courage, which can refuse as well as give battle. Soarmg far above 
the reach of vulgar praise, he singly aimed at promoting the common 



weal, satisfied with the consciousness of doing right, and desiring 
only that share of applause which was justly his own. 

" There was a loftiness and liberality in his character which forbade 
resort to intrigue and hypocrisy in the accomplishment of his views, 
and rejected the contemptible practice of disparaging others to exalt 

*' In the field of battle he was self-possessed, intelligent, and ardent ; 
in camp, circumspect, attentive^ and systematic ; in council, sincere, 
deep, and perspicuous. During the campaigns of General Greene, 
he was uniformly one of his few advisers, and held his unchanged 
confidence. Nor was he less esteemed by his brother officers, or 
less respected by his soldiery." 

Shortly before the close of the war, he was promoted to the rank 
of brigadier-general. He was afterwards collector of customs for 
Maryland ; and held that post till he died, at the age of forty-six 
years, July 16th, 1794. 

Costume of British. Infantry- officers, 1780, 


E rejoice, that in giving the Hve? 
of the American generals, w 
have to record the name of bu* 
one v^^ho was not true to his coun 
try's cause. 

Benedict Arnold, a major-gene 
ral in the American army, during 
the revolutionary war, and infa- 
mous for desertmg the cause of 
his country, born in Norwich, 
Connecticut, Jan. 3, 1740, was 
early chosen captain of a volun- 
teer company in New Haven, 
Connecticut, where he lived. After hearing of the battle of Lexing- 
ton, he immediately marched, with his company, for the American 
head-quarters, and reached Cambridge, April 29, 1775. He im- 
mediately waited on the Massachusetts committee of safety, and 
informed them of the defenceless state of Ticonderoga. The com- 
mittee appointed him a colonel, and commissioned him to raise four 
hundred men, and to take that fortress. He proceeded directly to 
Vermont, and when he arrived at Castleton, was attended by one 
servant only. Here he joined Colonel Allen, and on the 10th of 
May, the fortress was taken. 


In the fall of 1775, he was sent by the commander-in-chief to 
penetrate through the wilderness of the district of Maine, into 
Canada. On the 16th of September, he commenced his march, with 
about one thousand men, consisting of New England infantry, some 
volunteers, a company of artillery, and three companies of riflemen. 
One division was obliged to return, or it would have perished by 
hunger. After sustaining almost incredible hardships, he in six weeks 
arrived at Point Levi, opposite to Quebec. The appearance of an 
army emerging from the wilderness, threw the city into the greatest 
consternation. In this moment of surprise, Arnold might probably 
have become master of the place ; but the small craft and boats in 
the river were removed out of his reach. 

It seems that his approach was not altogether unexpected. He 
had imprudently, a number of days before, sent forward a letter to a 
friend, by an Indian, who betrayed him. A delay of several days, 
on account of the difficulty of passing the river, was inevitable ; and 
the critical moment was lost. 

On the 14th of November, he crossed the St. Lawrence in the 
night ; and ascending the precipice which Wolfe had climbed before 
him, formed his small corps on the height, near the memorable Plains 
of Abraham. With only about seven hundred men, one-third of 
whose muskets had been rendered useless in their march through the 
wilderness, success could not be expected. After parading some 
days on the heights near the town, and sending two flags to summon 
the inhabitants, he retired to Point aux Trembles, twenty miles 
above Quebec, and there awaited the arrival of Montgomery, who 
joined him on the first of December. The city was immediately 
besieged, but the best measures had been taken for its defence. On 
the morning of the last day of the year, an assault was made on the 
one side of the city, by Montgomery, who was killed. At the same 
time. Colonel Arnold, at the head of about three hundred and fifty 
men, made a desperate attack' on the opposite side. Advancing with 
the utmost intrepidity along the St. Charles, through a narrow path, 
exposed to an incessant fire of grape-shot and musketry as he 
approached the first barrier, he received a musket-ball in the leg, 
which shattered the bone ; and he was carried oflf to the camp. 
Though the attack was unsuccessful, the blockade of Quebec was 
continued till May, 1776 ; when the army, which was in no condition 
to risk an assault, was removed to a more defensible position. Arnold 
was compelled to relinquish one post after another, till the ISth of 
June, when he quitted Canada. After this period, he exhibited great 
bravery in the command of the American fleet on Lake Champlain. 

Tn August, 1777, he relieved Fort Schuyler, under the command 



Arnold at Bemis's Heights. 

of Colonel Gansevoort, which was invested by Colonel St. Leger 
with an army of from fifteen to eighteen hundred men. In the battle 
near Stillwater, September the 19th, he conducted himself with his 
usual intrepidity ; being engaged incessantly, for four hours. In the 
action of October the 7th, at Bemis's Heights, after the British had 
been driven into their lines, Arnold pressed forward, and, under a 
tremendous fire, assaulted their works from right to left. The 
intrenchments were at length forced, and with a few men he actually 
entered the works ; but his horse being killed, and he himself being 
badly wounded in the leg, he found it necessary to withdraw, and as 
it was now ^almost dark, to desist from the attack. 

Being rendered unfit for active service, in consequence of his 
wound, after the recovery of Philadelphia, he- was appointed to the 
command of the American garrison. When he entered the city, he 
made the house of Governor Penn, the best house in the city, his 
head-quarters. This he furnished in a very costly manner, and lived 
far beyond his income. He had wasted the plunder he had seized 
at Montreal, in his retreat from Canada ; and at Philadelphia, he was 
determined to make new acquisitions. He laid his hands on every 
thing in the city, which could be considered as the property of those 
who were unfriendly to the cause of his country. He was charged 

armold's extravagance. 153 

with oppression, extortion, and enormous charges upon the public, 
in his accounts ; and with applying the public money and property to 
his own private use. Such was his conduct, that he drew upon him- 
self the odium of the inhabitants, not only of the city, but of the 
province in general. He was engaged in trading speculations, and 
had shares in several privateers ; but was unsuccessful. 

From the judgment of the commissioners, who had been appointed 
to inspect his accounts, and who had rejected above half the amount 
of his demands, he appealed to Congress ; and they appointed a 
committee of their own body to examine and settle the business. 
The committee confirmed the report of the commissioners, and 
thought they had allowed him more than he had any right to expect 
or demand. By these disappointments he became irritated, and he 
gave full scope to his resentment. His invectives against Congress 
were not less violent, than those which he had before thrown out 
against the commissioners. He was, however, soon obliged to abide 
the judgment of a court-martial, upon the charges exhibited against 
him by the executive of Pennsylvania ; and he was subjected to the 
mortification of receiving a reprimand from Washington. His trial 
commenced in June, 1778, but such were the delays occasioned by 
the movements of the army, that it was not concluded until the 26th 
day of January, 1779. — The sentence of a reprimand was approved 
by Congress, and was soon afterwards carried into execution. 

Such was the humiliation to which General Arnold was reduced, 
in consequence of yielding to the temptations of pride and vanity, 
and indulging himself in the pleasures of a sumptuous table and 
expensive equipage. 

From this time, probably, his proud spirit revolted from the cause 
of America. He turned his eyes to West Point as an acquisition, 
which would give value to treason, while its loss would inflict a mor- 
tal wound on his former friends. He addressed himself to the dele- 
gation of New York, in which state his reputation was peculiarly 
high ; and a member of Congress from this state, recommended him 
to Washington for the service which he desired. But this request 
could not be immediately complied with. The same application 
to the commander-in-chief was made not long afterward through 
General Schuyler. General Washington observed, that, as there 
was a prospect of an active campaign, he should be gratified with 
the aid of General Arnold in the field, but intimated at the same 
time, that he should receive the appointment requested if it should 
be more pleasing to him. 

Arnold, without discovering much solicitude, repaired to camp in 
the beginning of August, and renewed, in person, the solicitations 



Major Andre. 

w'.ich had been before indirectly made. He was now offered the 
command of the left wing of the army, which was advancing against 
New York, but he declined it under the pretext, that in consequence 
of his wounds, he was unable to perform the active duties of the 
field. Without a suspicion of his patriotism, he was invested with 
the command of West Point. Previously to his soliciting this sta- 
tion, he had, in a letter to Colonel Robinson, signified his change of 
principles and his wish to restore himself to the favor of his prince, 
by some signal proof of his repentance. This letter opened to him 
a correspondence with Sir Henry Chnton, the object of which was 
to concert the means of putting the important post, which he com- 
manded, into the possession of the British general. 

His plan, it is believed, was to have drawn the greater part of his 
army without the works, under the pretext of fighting the enemy in 
the defiles, and to have left unguarded a designated pass, through 
which the assailants might securely approach and surprise the for- 


tress. His troops he intended to place, so that they would be com- 
pelled to surrender, or be cut in pieces. But just as his scheme was 
ripe for execution, the wise Disposer of events, who so often and so 
remarkably interposed in favor of the American cause, blasted his 

Major Andre, adjutant-general of the British army, w^as selected 
as tlie person to whom the maturing of Arnold's treason, and the 
arrangements for its execution should be committed. A correspon- 
dence was, for some time, carried on between them under a mercan- 
tile disguise, and the feigned names of Gustavus and Anderson ; and 
at length, to facilitate their communications, the Vulture sloop of 
war moved up the North River, and took a station convenient for 
the purpose, but not so near as to excite suspicion. An interview 
was agreed on, and in the night of September the 21st, 1779, he 
was taken in a boat, which was despatched for the purpose, and car- 
ried to the beach without the posts of both armies, under a pass for 
John Anderson. He met General Arnold at the house of a Mr. 
Smith. While the conference was yet unfinished, daylight ap- 
proached ; and to avoid the danger of discovery, it was proposed 
that he should remain concealed till the succeeding night. He is 
understood to have refused to be carried within the American posts, 
but the promise made him by Arnold, to respect this objection, Mas 
not observed. He was carried within them contrary to his wishes 
and against his knowledge. He continued with Arnold the succeed- 
ing day, and when, on the following night, he proposed to return to 
the Vulture, the boatmen refused to carry him, because she had, 
during the day, shifted her station, in consequence of a gun having 
been moved to the shore and brought to bear upon her. This em- 
barrassing circumstance reduced him to the necessity of endeavoring 
to reach New York by land. Yielding with reluctance to the urgent 
representations of A]jnold, he laid aside his regimentals, which he 
had hitherto worn under a surtout, and put on a plain suit of clothes, 
and receiving a pass from the American general authorizing him, 
under the feigned name of John Anderson, to proceed on the public 
service to the White Plains, or lower if he thought proper, he set out 
on his return. He had passed all the guards and posts on the road 
without suspicion, and was proceeding to New York, in perfect 
security, w'hen, on the 23d of September, one of three militia men, 
who were employed with others in scouting parties between the lines 
of the two armies, springing suddenly from his covert into the road, 
seized the reins of his bridle and stopped his horse. Instead of pro- 
ducing his pass, Andre, with a want of self-possession which can be 
attributed only to a kind Providence, asked the man hastily whert 


aUN O LD. 

Capture of Major Andre. 

he belonged ; and being answered, " to below," replied immediately, 
" and so do I." He then declared himself to be a British officer, on 
urgent business, and begged that he might not be detained. The 
other two militia men coming up at this moment, he discovered his 
mistake, but it was too late to repair it. He offered a purse of gold 
and a valuable watch, to which he added the most tempting promises 
of ample reward and permanent provision from the government if 
they would permit him to escape, but his offers were rejected without 

The militia men, whose names were John Paulding, David Williams, 
and Isaac Van Wert, proceeded to search him. They found concealed 
in his boots, exact returns, in Arnold's hand-WTiting, of the state of 
forces, ordnance, and defences at West Point, and its dependencies ; 
critical remarks on the works, and an estimate of the men ordinarily 
employed in them, with other interesting papers. Andre was carried 
before Lieutenant Colonel Jameson, the officer commanding the 
scouting parties on the lines, and, regardless of himself, and only 
anxious for the safety of Arnold, he still maintained the character 
which he had assumed, and requested Jameson to inform his com- 
manding officer that Anderson was taken. An express was accord- 
ingly despatched, and the traitor, thus becoming acquainted with his 
danger, escaped. 

Major Andre, after his detection, w^as permitted to send a message 
to Arnold, to give him notice of his danger, and the traitor found 
opportunity to escape on board the Vulture, on the 25th of Septem- 
ber, 1780, a few hours before the return of Washington, who had 

Arnold's treason. 157 

been absent on a journey to Hartford, Connecticut. It is supposed, 
however, that he would not have escaped, had not an express to the 
commander-in-chief, with an account of the capture of Andre, missed 
him by taking a different road from the one which he travelled. 

Arnold, on the very day of his escape, wrote the following letter 
to Washington : 

On board the Vulture,") 
September 25, 1780. 5 

" Sir — The heart which is conscious of its own rectitude cannot 
attempt to palliate a step which the world may censure as wrong ; I 
have ever acted from a principle of love to my country, since the 
commencement of the present unhappy contest between Great Britian 
and the colonies ; the same principle of love to m.y country actuates 
my present conduct, however it may appear inconsistent to the world, 
who very seldom judge right of any man's actions. 

" I have no favor to ask for myself. I have too often experienced 
the ingratitude of my country to attempt it ; but from the known 
humanity of your Excellency, I am induced to ask your protection 
for Mrs. Arnold, from every insult or injury that the mistaken ven- 
geance of my country may expose her to. It ought to fall only on 
me ; she is as good and as innocent as an angel, and is incapable of 
doing wrong. I beg she may be permitted to return to her friends 
in Philadelphia, or to come to me, as she may choose ; from your 
Excellency I have no fears on her account, but she may suffer from 
the mistaken fury of the country. 

" I have to request that the enclosed letter may be delivered to 
Mrs. Arnold, and she permitted to write to me. 

" I have also to ask that my clothes and baggage, which are of 
little consequence, may be sent to me ; if required, their value shall 
be paid in money, 

" I have the honor to be, &c. 

" B. Arnold 

" His Excellency, General Washington. 

" N. B. In justice to the gentlemen of my family, Colonel Varick, 
and Major Franks, I think myself in honor bound to declare that 
they, as well as Joshua Smith, Esq., (who I know are suspected,) 
are totally ignorant of any transactions of mine, which they had 
reason to believe were injurious to the public." 

Mrs. Arnold was conveyed to her husband at New York, and his 
clothes and baggage, for which he had written, were transmitted 
to him 

158 ARNOLD. 

" The following is a concise description of the figures exhibited and 
paraded through the streets of Philadelphia, tivo or three days after 
the affair: 

" A stag-e raised on the body of a cart, on which was an effigy of 
General Arnold sitting ; this was dressed in regimentals, had two 
faces, emblematical of his traitorous conduct, a mask in his left hand, 
and a letter in his right from Beelzebub, telling him that he had done 
all the mischief he could do, and now he must hang himself. 

At the back of the general was a figure of the devil, dressed in 
black robes, shaking a purse of money at the general's left ear, and 
in his right hand a pitchfork, ready to drive him into hell, as the 
reward due for the many crimes which his thirst of gold had made 
him commit. 

In the front of the stage, and before General Arnold, was placed 
a large lantern of transparent paper, with the consequences of his 
crimes thus delineated, i. e. on one part General Arnold on his knees 
before the devil, who is pulling him into the flames — a label from the 
general's mouth with these words. ' My dear sir, I have served you 
faithfully ;' to which the devil replies, ' And I'll reward you.' On 
another side, two figures hanging, inscribed, ' The Traitor's Reward,' 
and written underneath, ' The Adjutant-General of the British Army, 
and Joe Smith ; the first hanged as a spy, and the other as a traitor 
to his country.' And on the front of the lantern was written the 
following : 

^^ Major Cfeneral Benedict Arnold, late commander of the fort 
West Point. The crime of this man is high treason. 

He has deserted the important post. West Point, on Hudson's river, 
committed to his charge by his Excellency, the commander-in-chief, 
and is gone off to the enemy at New York. 

His design to have given up this fortress to our enemies has been 
discovered by the goodness of the Omniscient Creator, who has not 
only prevented him from carrying it into execution, but has thrown 
into our hands Andre, the adjutant-general of their army, who was 
detected in the infamous character of a spy. 

The treachery of the ungrateful general is held up to public view 
tor the exposition of infamy ; and to proclaim with joyful accla- 
mation, another instance of the interposition of a bounteous Provi- 

The effigy of this ingrate is therefore hanged, (for want of his 
body,) as a traitor to his native country, and a betrayer of the laws 
of honor." 



Andre's Prison. 

The procession began about four o'clock, in the following order : 
Several g-entlemen mounted on horseback. 
A line of continental officers. 
Sundry gentlemen in a line. 
A guard of the city infantry. 
Just before the cart, drums and fifes playing the 

Rogue s March. 
Guards on each side. 
The procession M^as attended with a numerous concourse of people, 
who, after expressing their abhorrence of the treason and the traitor, 
committed him to the flames, and left both the effigy and the original 
to sink into ashes and oblivion," 

" During the exertions which were made to rescue Andre from the 
destruction which threatened him, Arnold had the hardihood to 
interpose. He appealed to the humanity of the commander-in-chief, 
and then sought to intimidate him., by stating the situation of many 
of the principal characters of South Carolina, who had forfeited their 
lives, but had hitherto been spared through the clemency of the 
British general. This clemency, he said, could no longer, in justice, 
be extended to them, should Major Andre suffer. 

Arnold was made a brigadier-general in the British service ; which 
rank he preserved throughout the war. Yet he must have been held 
in contempt and detestation by the generous and honorable. It was 
impossible for men of this description, even when acting with him, 
to forget that he was a traitor, first the slave of his rage, then pur- 
chased with gold, and finally secured by the blood of one of the most 
accomplished officers in the British army. One would suppose that 


162 ARNOLD. 

his mind could not have been much at ease ; but he had proceeded . 
so far in vice, that perhaps his reflections gave him but httle trouble. 
' I am mistaken,' says Washington, in a private letter, ' if, at this time, 
Arnold is undergoing the torments of a mental hell He wants feel- 
ing. From some traits of his character, which have lately come to 
my knowleHge, he seems to have been so hackneyed in crime, so lost 
to all sense of honor and shame, that while his faculties still enable 
liim to continue his sordid pursuits, there will be no time for remorse.' 

Arnold found it necessary to make some exertions to secure the 
attachment of his new friends. With the hope of alluring many of 
the discontented to his standard, he published an address to the 
inhabitants of America, in which he endeavored to justify his con- 
duct. He had encountered the dangers of the field, he said, from 
apprehension that the rights of his country were in danger. He had 
acquiesced in the declaration of independence, though he thought it 
precipitate. But the rejection of the overtures, made by Great 
Britain in 1778, and the French alliance, had opened his eyes to the 
ambitious views of those, who would sacrifice the happiness of their 
country to their own aggrandizement, and had made him a confirmed 
royalist. He artfully mingled assertions, that the principal members 
of Congress held the people in sovereign contempt. 

This was followed in about a fortnight by a proclamation, addressed 
* to the officers and soldiers of the continental army, who have the 
real interests of their country at heart, and who are determined to 
be no longer the tools and dupes of Congress or of France.' To 
induce the American officers and soldiers to desert the cause which 
they had embraced, he represented that the corps of cavalry and 
infantry, which he was authorized to raise, would be upon the same 
footing with the other troops in the British service ; that he should 
with pleasure advatice those whose valor he had witnessed ; and that 
the private men who joined him should receive a bounty of three 
guineas each, besides payment, at the full value, for horses, arms, 
and accoutrements. His object was the peace, liberty, and safety 
of America. ' You are promised liberty,' he exclaims, ' but is there 
an mdividual in the enjoyment of it saving your oppressors ? Who 
among you dare to speak or write what he thinks against the tyranny 
which has robbed you of your property, imprisons your persons, 
drags you to the field of battle, and is daily deluging your country 
with blood V ' What,' he exclaims again, ' is America now but aland 
of widows, orphans, and beggars ? As to you, who have been sol- 
diers in the continental army, can you at this day want evidence, 
that the funds of your country are exhausted, or that the managers 
have applied them to their private uses ? In either case you surely 


can no longer continue in their service with honor or advantage '^ 
Yet you have hitherto been their supporters in that cruelty, which, 
with equal indifference to yours, as well as to the labor and blood of 
others, in devouring a country, that from the moment you quit their 
colors, will be redeemed from their tyranny.' 

These proclamations did not produce the effect designed, and in 
all the hardships, sufferings, and irritations of the war, Arnold remains 
the solitary instance of an American officer, who abandoned the side 
first embraced in the contest, and turned his sword upon his former 
companions in arms. 

He was soon despatched by Sir Henry Clinton, to make a diversion 
in Virginia. With about seventeen hundred men he arrived in the 
Chesapeake, in January, 1781, and being supported by such a naval 
force as was suited to the nature of the service, he committed exten- 
sive ravages on the rivers, and along the unprotected coasts. It is 
said that, while on this expedition, Arnold inquired of an American 
captain whom he had taken prisoner, what the Americans w^ould do 
with him if he should fall into their hands. The captain at first 
declined giving him an answer, but upon being repeatedly urged to 
it, he said, ' Why, sir, if I must answer your question, you must 
excuse my telling you the plain truth : if my countrymen should 
catch you, I believe they would first cut off that lame leg, which 
was wounded in the cause of freedom and virtue, and bury it with 
the honors of war, and afterwards hang the remainder of your body 
in gibbets.' The reader will recollect that the captain alluded to the 
wound Arnold received in one of his legs at the attack upon Quebec, 
in 1776." 

The return of General Arnold to New York from Virginia, did not 
fix him in a state of inactivity. He was sent on an enterprise against 
New London, with a sufficient land and marine force. — The embarka- 
tion having passed over from Long Island shore in the night, the 
troops were landed in two detachments on each side of the harbor, 
at ten o'clock in the morning of the 6th of September ; that on the 
Groton side being commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Eyre, and that 
on New London side by the general, who met no great trouble. 
Fort Trumbull and the redoubt, which were intended to cover the 
harbor and town, not being tenable, were evacuated as he approached, 
and the few men in them crossed the river to Fort Griswold, on Groton 
Hill. Arnold proceeded to the town without being otherwise opposed 
than by the scattered fire of small parties that had hastily collected. 
Orders were sent by the general to Eyre for attacking Fort Griswold, 
that so the possession of it might prevent the escape of the American 
shipping. The militia, to the amount of one hundred and fifty-seven, 



collected for its defence, but so hastily as not to be fully furnished 
with fire-arms and other weapons. As the assailants approached a 
firing- commenced, and the flag-staff was soon shot down, from 
whence the neighboring spectators inferred that the place had sur- 
rendered, till the continuance of the firing convinced them to the 
contrary. The garrison defended themselves with the greatest reso- 
lution and bravery ; Eyre was wounded near the works, and Major 
Montgomery was killed immediately after, so that the command 
devolved on Major Broomfield. The British at one time staggered ; 
but the fort being out of repair could not be maintained by a handful 
of men against so superior a number as that which assaulted it. After 
an action of about forty minutes, the resolution of the royal troops 
carried the place by the point of the bayonet. The Americans had 
not more than half a dozen killed before the enemy entered the fort, 
when a severe execution took place, though resistance ceased. The 
British officer inquired, on his entering the fort, who commanded. 
Colonel Ledyard answered — " I did, sir, but you do now ;" and pre- 
sented him his sword. The colonel was immediately run through 
and killed. The slain were seventy-three, the wounded between 
thirty and forty, and about forty were carried off prisoners. Soon 
after reducing the fort, the soldiers loaded a wagon with wounded, 
as said, by order of their officers, and set the wagon off from the top 
of the hill, which is long and very steep ; the wagon went a consider- 
able distance, with great force, till it was suddenly stopped by an 
apple-tree, which gave the faint and bleeding men so terrible a shock 
that part of them died instantly. About fifteen vessels, with the 
effects of the inhabitants, retreated up the river, notwithstanding the 
reduction of the fort, and four others remained in the harbor unhurt ; 
a number were burnt by the fire's communicating from the stores 
when in flames. Sixty dwelling-houses and eighty-four stores were 
burned, including those on both sides of the harbor and in New Lon- 
don. The burning of the town was intentional and not accidental. 
The loss that the Americans sustained in this destruction was very 
great, for there were large quantities of naval stores, of European 
goods, of East and West India commodities, and of provisions, in 
the several stores. The British had two commissioned officers and 
forty-six privates killed ; eight officers, (some of whom are since 
dead,) with one hundred and thirty-five non-commissioned and pri- 
vates wounded. 

From the conclusion of the war till his death. General Arnold 
resided chiefly in England. He died in Gloucester Place, London, 
June 14, 1801. His character presents little to be commended. His 
daring courage may excite admiration, but it was a courage without 



reflection and without principle. He fought bravely for his country, 
and he bled in her cause ; but his country owed him no returns of 
gratitude, for his subsequent conduct proved that he had no honest 
regard to her interests, but was governed by selfish considerations. 
His progress from self-indulgence to treason was easy and rapid. He 
was vain and luxurious, and to gratify his giddy desires, he must 
resort to meanness, dishonesty, and extortion. These vices brought 
with them disgrace : and the contempt into which he fell awakened 
d spirit of revenge, and left him to the unrestrained influence of his 
cupidity and passion. Thus, from the high fame to which his bravery 
had elevated him, he descended into infamy. Thus, too, he furnished 
new evidence of the infatuation of the human mind, in attaching such 
value to the reputation of a soldier, which may be obtained while the 
heart is unsound, and every moral sentiment is entirely depraved. 


EN. ST. CLAIR was a soldier 
from his youth. At an early- 
age, while the independent 
states were yet British colo- 
nies, he entered the royal American 
army, and was commissioned as an en- 
sign. He was actively engaged, during 
the French war, in the army of General 
Wolfe, and was in the battle carrying 
a pair of colors, in which that cele- 
brated commander was slain, on the 
Plains of Abraham. He was highly 
esteemed by the distinguished commanders under whom he served, 
as a young officer of merit, capable of obtaining a high grade of 
military reputation. 

After the peace of '63, he sold out and entered into trade, for 
which the generosity of his nature utterly disqualified him ; he, of 
course, soon became disgusted with a profitless pursuit, and having 
married, after several vicissitudes of fortune, he located himself in 
Li^onier valley, west of the Alleghany mountain, and near the 
ancient route from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh. 


John Hancock. 

In this situation the American revolution found him, surrounded 
by a rising family, in the enjoyment of ease and independence, with 
the fairest prospects of affluent fortune, the foundation of which had 
been already established by his intelligence, industry and enterprise. 

From this peaceful abode, these sweet domestic enjoyments, and 
the flattering prospects which accompanied them, he was drawn by 
the claims of a troubled country. A man known to have been a 
military officer, and distinguished for knowledge and integrity, could 
not, in those times be concealed even by his favorite mountains, and 
therefore, without application or expectation on his part, he received 
the commission of a colonel in the month of December, 1775, 
together with a letter from President Hancock, pressing him to 
repair immediately to Philadelphia. He obeyed the summons, and 
took leave not only of his wife and children, but in effect of his for- 
tune, to embark in the cause of liberty and the united colonies. In 
six weeks he completed the levy of a regiment of seven hundred and 
fifty men ; six companies of which marched in season to join our 
troops before Quebec ; he followed with the other four in May, and 
after the unlucky affair at Three Rivers, by his counsel to General 
Sullivan at Sorel, he saved the army we had in Canada. 

The active and persevering habits of St. Clair, and the military 
knowledge, as displayed by him during the Canadian campaign, 
brought him into high repute, and he was subsequently promoted to 
the rank of major-general. On all occasions he supported an honor- 


able distinction, and shared largely in the confidence and friendship 
of the commander-in-chief. 

The misfortunes attending the early military operations of the 
northern campaign of 1777, did not fail to bring reproach upon the 
characters of those who conducted it. The loss of Ticonderoga and 
Fort Independence, and the subsequent retreat of General St. Clair, 
cast a gloom over the minds of patriotic men, and in their conse- 
quences gave rise to the malignant passions of the human heart, 
which were put in motion to depreciate the worth, impair the influ- 
ence, and destroy the usefulness of Generals Schuyler and St. Clair. 
It was proclaimed that they were traitors to their country, and acted 
in concert with the enemy ; and the ignorant and the credulous were 
led to believe that they had received an immense treasure in silver 
balls, fired by Burgoyne into St. Clair's camp, and by his order 
picked up and transmitted to Schuyler, at Fort George ! ! Extrava- 
gant as was this tale, it w-as implicitly believed. 

At the time of the evacuation of Ticonderoga by St. Clair, which 
so much exasperated the people, General Schuyler was absent upon 
a different duty, and was totally ignorant of the fact, though the 
commanding officer in that district. General St. Clair, in accordance 
with the opinion of a council of war, ordered the movement on his 
own responsibility, and thereby saved the state of New York from 
British domination, and his gallant army from capture. Stung with 
the injustice of a charge against General Schuyler, for an act for 
which he alone was responsible, he magnanimously wrote the follow- 
ing letter to the Hon. John Jay, on the subject : — 

"Moses' Creek, "> 
July 25, 1775. 3 

" Sir — General Schuyler was good enough to read to me a part 
of a letter he received last night from you. I cannot recollect that 
any of my officers ever asked my reasons for leaving Ticonderoga : 
but as I have found the measure much decried, I have often expressed 
myself in this manner : — ' That as to anyself I was perfectly easy ; 
I was conscious of the uprightness and propriety of my conduct, and 
despised the vague censure of an uninformed populace ;' but had no 
allusion to an order from General Schuyler for my justification, 
because no such order existed. 

" The calumny thrown on General Schuyler, on account of that 
matter, has given me great uneasiness. I assure you, sir, there never 
was any thing more cruel and unjust ; for he knew nothing of the 
matter until it was over, more than you did at Kingston. It was 
done in consequence of a consultation with the other general officers, 
without the possibility of General Schuyler's concurrence ; and had 

ST. glair's letter to jay. 169 

the opinion of that council been contrary to what it was, it would 
nevertheless have taken place, because I knew it to be impossible to 
defend the post with our numbers. 

" In my letter to Congress from Fort Edward, in which I gave 
them an account of the retreat, is this paragraph : — ' It was my origi- 
nal design to retreat to this place, that I might be betwixt General 
Burgoyne and the inhabitants, and that the militia might have some- 
thing in this quarter to collect to. It is now effected, and the militia 
are coming in, so that I have the most sanguine hopes that the pro- 
gress of the enemy will be checked, and I may have the satisfaction 
to experience, that although I have lost a post, I have eventually 
saved a state.' 

" Whether my conjecture is right, or not, is uncertain ; but had 
our army been made prisoners, which it certainly would have been, 
the state of New York would have been much more exposed at 

" I proposed to General Schuyler, on my arrival at Fort Edward, 
to have sent a note to the printer, to assure the people he had no 
part in abandoning what they considered their strong-holds ; he 
thought it was not so proper at that time, but it is no more than what 
I owe to truth and to him, to declare, that he was totally unacquainted 
with the matter ; and I should be very glad that this letter, or any 
part of it you may think proper to communicate, may convince the 
unbelieving. Simple unbelief is easily and soon convinced, but when 
malice or envy occasions it, it is needless to attempt conviction. 
" I am, sir, your very humble and ob't. serv't. 

" Arthur St. Clair. 
« Hon. John Jay." 

Congress, yielding to personal prejudices and the popular outcry, 
produced by the evacuation of that post, they passed the following 
resolutions : — 

" Resolved, That an inquiry be made into the reasons of the evacua- 
tion of Ticonderoga and Mount Independence, and into the conduct 
of the general officers who were in the northern department at the 
time of the evacuation. 

'^ Resolved, That Major General St Clair, who commanded at 
Ticonderoga and Mount Independence, forthwith repair to head- 

The conduct of Congress towards this respectable, able, and faith 
ful servant of the republic, was considered altogether unwarrantable, 
and, in the result, drew great and deserved odium on its authors. 

After holding St. Clair in cruel suspense for more than a year, he 


was permitted to appear before a general court martial, which passed 
the following sentence of acquittal : — 

"■' Quaker Hill, ") 
Sept. 29, 1778. 3 

" The court having duly considered the charges against Major- 
General St. Clair, and the evidence, are unanimously of opinion, that 
he is NOT GUILTY of either of the charges preferred against him, and 
do unanimously acquit him of all and every of them, with the highest 

B. Lincoln, Maj. G-en. and Prest.''' 

From this time. General St. Clair continued in the service of his 
country until the close of the war. Soon after the establishment of 
the national government. General St. Clair was appointed Governor 
of the North West Territory. But he did not long enjoy the calm 
and quiet of civil life. The repeated successes of the Indians, on the 
western frontier, had emboldened them to repeat and extend their 
incursions to an alarming degree. 

The frontiers were in a most deplorable situation. For their 
relief. Congress sanctioned the raising of an additional regiment ; 
and the President was authorized to cause a body of two thousand 
men, under the denomination of levies, to be raised for six months, 
and to appoint a major-general, and a brigadier-general, to continue 
in command as long as he should think their services necessary. 
St. Clair, who was then governor of the territory north-west of the 
Ohio, and, as such, officially the negotiator with the adjacent Indians, 
was appointed commander-in-chief of this new military establishment. 
Though every exertion was made to recruit and forward the troops, 
they were not assembled in the neighborhood of Fort Washington, 
until the month of September ; nor was the establishment then 

The object of the expedition was to destroy the Indian villages on 
the Miami ; to expel the savages from that country, and to connect 
it with the Ohio by a chain of posts. The regulars, proceeding 
northwardly from the Ohio, established, at proper intervals, two forts, 
one named Hamilton, and the other Jefferson, as places of deposit 
and security. These were garrisoned with a small force ; and the 
main body of the army, about two thousand men, advanced towards 
the Indian settlements. As they approached the enemy, about sixty 
mil tia men deserted in a body. To prevent the mischiefs likely to 
result from so bad an example, Major Hamtrack was detached, with 
the first regiment, to pursue the deserters. The army was reduced 
by this detachment, to about fourteen hundred effective men ; but, 
nevertheless, proceeded on their march, and encamped on elevated 



Little Turtle. 

ground, about fifteen miles south of the Miami. The Indians, led by 
their chief, Little Turtle, commenced an attack on the militia in 
front. These instantly fled in disorder, and rushing into the camp, 
occasioned confusion among the regulars. The officers of the latter 
exerted themselves to restore order, but with very inconsiderable 
success. The Indians improved the advantage they had gained. 
They were seldom seen, but in the act of springing from one cover 
to another ; for they fired from the ground, or under shelter of the 
woods. Advancing in this manner, close to the lines of their adver- 
saries, and almost to the mouth of their field-pieces, they continued 
the contest with great firmness and intrepidity. 

General St. Clair, though suffering under a painful disease, and 
unable to mount or dismount a horse without assistance, delivered his 
orders with judgment and perfect self-possession. The troops had 
not been in service long enough to acquire discipline, and the want 
of it increased the difficulty of reducing them to order after they had 
been broken. The officers, in their zeal to change the face of affairs, 
exposed themselves to imminent danger, and fell in great numbers. 
Attempts were made to retrieve the fortune of the day by the use of 
the bayonet. Colonel Darke made a successful charge on a part of 
the enemy, and drove them four hundred yards ; but they soon ralHed. 
In the mean time. General Butler was mortally wounded. Almost 
all the artillerists were killed, and their guns seized by the enemy. 
Colonel Darke again charged with the bayonet, and the artillery was 



recovered. While the Indians were driven back in one point, they 
kept up their fire from every other, Vi^ith fatal effect. Several corps 
charged the Indians with partial success ; but no general impressions 
were made upon them. 

save the remnant of his army, was all 
that could be done by St. Clair. After 
some hours of sharp fighting, a retreat 
took place. The Indians pursued, for 
about four miles, when their avidity for 
plunder called them back to the camp to 
share the spoil. The vanquished troops 
fled about thirty miles, to Fort Jefferson. 
There they met Major Hamtrack, with 
the first regiment ; but this additional 
force would not warrant an attempt to 
turn about and face the victors. The wounded were left there, and 
the army retreated to Fort Washington. 

The loss in this defeat was great ; and particularly so among the 
officers. Thirty-eight of these were killed on the field ; and five 
hundred and ninety-three non-commissioned officers and privates were 
slain or missing. Twenty-one commissioned officers and upwards 
of one hundred privates were wounded. Among the dead was the 
gallant General Butler, who had repeatedly distinguished himself in 
the war of the revolution. Several other brave officers, who had 
successfully fought for the independence of their country, fell on this 
fatal day. Among the wounded, were Lieutenant-Colonels Gibson 
and Darke, Major Butler, and Adjutant Sargent, officers of distin- 
guished merit. Neither the number of Indians engaged, nor their 
loss could be exactly ascertained. The former was supposed to be 
from one thousand to fifteen hundred, and the latter far short of what 
was sustained by St. Clair's army. 

Shortly after this unfortunate expedition, General St. Clair resigned 
his commission in the army, and retired into private life, and thus 
remained until the close of his life, August 31st, 1818. 


lENERAL SULLIVAN was a native of New Hamp- 
shire, where he resided before the revolution, and 
attained to a high degree of eminence in the profes- 
sion of law. He was a member of the first Congress 
in 1774, but on the commencement of hostilities, 
preferring a military commission, he relinquished the fairest 
I prospect of fortune and fame, and appeared among the most 
ardent patriots, and intrepid warriors. 

In 1775, he was appointed a brigadier-general, and imme- 
diately joined the army at Cambridge, and soon after obtained 
the command on Winter Hill. The next year he was ordered to 
Canada, and on the death of Gen. Thomas the command of the army 
devolved on him. The situation of the army in that quarter was inex- 
pressibly distressing ; destitute of clothing, dispirited by defeat and 
constant fatigue, and a large proportion of the troops sick with the 
small-pox. By his great exertions and judicious management he 
meliorated the condition of the army, and obtained general applause. 
On his retiring from that command, July 12th, 1776, the field officers 
thus addressed him : — " It is to you, sir, the public are indebted for 
the preservation of their property in Canada. It is to you we owe 
our safety thus far. Your humanity will call forth the silent tear, 



and the grateful ejaculation of the sick. Your universal impartiality 
will force the applause of the wearied soldier." 

In August, 1776, he Avas promoted to the rank of major-general, 
and soon after was, with Major-General Lord Stirling, captured by 
the British in the battle on Long Island. General Sullivan being 
paroled, was sent by General Howe with a message to Congress, 
after which he returned to New York. In September he was 
exchanged for Major-General Prescott. We next find him in com- 
mand of the right division of our troops, in the famous battle at 
Trenton, and he acquitted himself honorably on that ever memorable 
day. ' 

In August, 1777, without the authority of Congress or the com- 
mander-in-chief, he planned and executed an expedition against the 
enemy on Staten Island. Though the enterprise was conducted with 
prudence and success in part, it was said by some to have been less 
brilliant than might have been expected under his favorable circum- 
stances ; and as that act was deemed a bold assumption of responsi- 
bility, and reports to his prejudice being in circulation, a court of 
inquiry was ordered to investigate his conduct. The result was an 
honorable acquittal, and Congress resolved that the result so honor- 
able to General Sullivan is highly pleasing to Congress, and that the 
opinion of the court be published, in justification of that injured 

In the battles of Brandywine and Germantown, in the autumn of 
1777, General Sullivan commanded a division, and in the latter con- 
flict his two aids were killed, and his own conduct was so conspicu- 
ously brave, that General Washington, in his letter to Congress 
concludes with encomiums on the gallantry of General Sullivan, and 
the whole right wing of the army, who acted immediately under the 
eye of his Excellency. 

In August, 1778, General Sullivan was sole commander of an 
expedition to the island of Newport, in co-operation with the French 
fleet under the Count D'Estaing. The Marquis de Lafayette and 
General Greene volunteered their services on the occasion. The 
object of the expedition was defeated, in consequence of the French 
fleet being driven off by a violent storm. By this unfortunate event 
the enemy were encouraged to engage our army in battle, in which 
they suifered a repulse, and General Sullivan finally eifected a safe 
retreat to the main. This retreat, so ably executed, without confusion, 
or the loss of baggage, or stores, increased the military reputation of 
General Sullivan, and redounds to his honor as a skilful commander. 

The bloody tragedy acted at Wyoming in 1778, had determined 
the commander-in-chief, in 1779, to employ a large detachment 



Massacre at Wyoming. 

from the continental army to penetrate into the neart of the Indian 
country", to chastise the hostile tribes and their white associates and 
adherents, for their cruel aggressions on the defenceless inhabitants. 
The command of this expedition was committed to Major-General 
Sullivan, with express orders to destroy their settlements, to ruin 
their crops, and make such thorough devastations, as to render the 
country entirely uninhabitable for the present, and thus to compel 
the savages to remove to a greater distance from our frontiers. 

General Sullivan had under his command several brigadiers, and 
a well chosen army, to which were attached a number of friendly 
Indian warriors. With this force he penetrated about ninety miles 
through a horrid swampy wilderness and barren mountainous deserts, 
to Wyoming, on the Susquehanna river, thence hj water to Tioga, 
and possessed himself of numerous towns and villages of the 

During this hazardous expedition, General Sullivan and his army 
encountered the most complicated obstacles, requiring the greatest 
fortitude and perseverance to surmount. He explored an extensive 
tract of country, and strictly executed the severe, but necessary 
orders he had received. A considerable number of Indians were 
slain, some were captured, their habitations were burnt and their 
plantations of corn and vegetables laid waste in the most effectual 
manner. Eighteen villages, a number of detached buildings, one 
hundred and sixty thousand bushels of corn, and those fruits and 
vegetables which conduce to the comfort and subsistence of man, 


were utterly destroyed. Five vreeks w^ere unremittingly employed 
m this vi^ork of devastation. 

On his return from the expedition, he and his army received the 
approbation of Congress. It is remarked on this expedition, by the 
translator of M. Chastelleux's Travels, an Englishman, then resident 
in the United States, that the instructions given by General Sullivan 
to his officers, the order of march he prescribed to his troops, and 
the discipline he had the ability to maintain, v^^ould have done honor 
to the most experienced ancient or modern generals. 

At the close of the campaign of 1779, General Sullivan, in con- 
sequence of impaired health, resigned his commission in the army. 
Congress, in accepting his resignation, passed a resolve, thanking 
him for his past services. His military talents and bold spirit of 
enterprise were universally acknowledged. He was fond of display, 
and his personal appearance and dignified dej)ortment commanded 
respect. After his resignation he resumed his professional pursuits 
at the bar, and was much distinguished as a statesman, politician, 
and patriot. He acquired very considerable proficiency in general 
literature, and an extensive knowledge of men and the world. He 
received from Harvard university a degree of Master of Arts, and 
from the university of Dartmouth a degree of Doctor of Laws. He 
was one of the convention who formed the state constitution for New 
Hampshire, was chosen into the first council, and was afterward 
elected chief magistrate in that state, and held the office for three 
years. In September, 1789, he was appointed judge of the district 
court for the district of New Hampshire, and continued in the office 
till his death, in 1795. 


ISTORY records the name of no truer 
patriot than Major General Thomas 
Sumpter. He was a native of Vir- 
ginia. Early in life he came to South 
Carolina, and settled in the upper coun- 
try, which at that time was much 
harassed by the hostility of the Indians. 
It would seem that he then commenced 
his career of valor and usefulness ; for 
we find that at the close of the Cherokee 
war, he accompanied Oconostotah, or ' the Emperor,' to England ; 
it being common at that time to induce the Indian Chiefs to visit the 
mother country, for the purpose of confirming their friendship to the 
colonists. 4)n returning with Oconostotah to his home, in 1763, 
General, then Mr. Sumpter, found, among the Indians, one Baron 
des Johnes, a French Canadian, who spoke seven of the Indian lan- 
guages, and whom he siffepected of being an incendiary, sent to ex- 
cite the tribes to hostility against their white neighbors. Sumpter, 
with his characteristic resolution, arrested this individual, taking him 
single-handed, in spite of the opposition of the Indians, and, at much 

12 177 




personal risk, carrying him prisoner to Fort Prince George, on the 
Kehowee. Des Johnes was afterwards sent to Charleston, where ha 
was examined, and though his guilt was not positively proved, it was 
deemed expedient to send him to England. 

From Gen. Sumpter's letter to the State Rights Association, in 
February last, we learn that he was in Charleston during the high 
excitement preceding the war of the Revolution, probably in 1774 
and 1775, a time to which the letter reverts with great satisfaction, 
as the period when he enjoyed, with the old whig party of Carolina, 
an interchange of the same sentiments which animate the nullifiers 
of the present day. 

We next meet with the name of Sumpter in 1780. He had been 
previously a colonel of one of the continental regiments, and when 
in that year the British had overrun the state, he would not remain 
to submit, but retired with other determined patriots into North 
Carolina. During his absence his house was burned, and his family 
turned out of doors by the British. The little band of exiles in 
North Carolina chose him their leader, and at their head he returned 
to face the victorious enemy. When this gallant incursion was made, 
the people of the state had for the most part abandoned the idea of 
resistance, and military operations had been suspended for nearly 
two months. His followers were in a great measure unfurnished 
with food, clothing and ammunition. Farming utensils were worked 
up by common blacksmiths to supply them with arms. Household 
pewter was melted into bullets ; and they sometimes engaged with 


not three rounds to a man. With a volunteer force thus equipped, 
he commenced hostilities, and broke the quiet of subjection into 
which Carolina seemed to be sinking. 

On the 12th July, 1780, he attacked a British detachment on the 
Catawba, supported by a considerable force of tories — and totally 
routed and dispersed the whole force, killing Captain Hack, who 
commanded the British, and Colonel Ferguson, who commanded the 
tories. Animated by this success, the inhabitants flocked to his 
standard ; and being reinforced to the number of six hundred men, 
he made a spirited attack on the British post at Rocky Mount, but 
was repulsed. Marching immediately in quest of other detachments 
of the enepay, in eight days after, he attacked the post of the Hang- 
ing Rock, where he annihilated the Prince of Wales's regiment, and 
put to flight a large body of tories from North Carolina. When 
Sumpter's men went into this battle, not one of them had more than 
ten bullets, and towards the close of the fight, the arms and ammuni- 
tion of the fallen British and tories were used by the Americans. 

HILE the American army, under the 
unfortunate Gates, were approaching 
Camden, Colonel Sumpter was on the 
west bank of the Wateree, augmenting 
his forces, and indulging the hope of in- 
tercepting the British on their way to 
Charleston, as their retreat or defeat was 
confidently expected. He here formed 
a plan for reducing a British redoubt at 
Wateree Ferry, and intercepting a convoy on the road from Charles- 
ton to Camden, in both of which objects he fully succeeded — and 
the news of his success reached Gates, while that officer was retreat- 
ing after his defeat. 

Hearing of the disaster at Camden, Sumpter retreated w4th his 
prisoners and spoils up the Wateree, to Fishing Creek, where he was 
overtaken by Tarleton on the 1 8th. The Americans had been four 
days without provision or sleep, and their videttes being exhausted, 
suflTered them to be surprised ; the consequence was their total rout 
and dispersion. The loss which Sumpter sustained w^as, however, 
soon repaired, for in three days he rallied his troops, and was again 
at the head of a respectable force. 

At the head of his little band, augmented from time to time by 
reinforcements of volunteers, he kept the field unsupported ; while, 
for three months, there was no regular or continental army in the 
state. He shifted his position frequently in the vicinity of Broad, 
Enoree and Tiger rivers, maintaining a continual skirmishing with 


the enemy, beating vip their quarters, cutting off their supplies, and 
harassing them by incessant incursions and alarms. 

N the 12th of November he was attacked at Broad 
River by a corps of British infantry and dragoons, 
under Major Wemys. He utterly defeated them 
and took their commander prisoner. On the 20th 
of November, he was attacked at Black Stocks, on 
Tiger river, by Tarleton, whom he repulsed after a 
severe and obstinate action. The loss of the Ameri- 
cans was trifling compared to that of the British ; but General Sump- 
ter received a wound in the shoulder, that for several months 
interrupted his gallant career. He was placed, we are told, in a 
raw bullock's hide, suspended between two horses, and thus carried 
by a guard of his men to the mountains. 

On the 13th of January, 1781, the old Congress adopted a reso- 
lution of thanks to General Sumpter for his eminent services. 

After the battles fought by Gen. Greene, and the departure ot 
Cornwallis for Virginia, General Sumpter, who had just recovered 
from his wound, collected another force, and early in February, 
1781, crossed the Congaree and destroyed the magazines of Fort 
Granby. On the advance of Lord Rawdon from Camden, Sumpter 
retreated — and immediately menaced another British post. Two 
days after, he defeated an escort of the enemy, and captured the 
wagons and stores which they were conveying from Charleston to 
Camden. He next, with two hundred and fifty horsemen, swam 
across the Santee, and advanced on Fort Watson, but retreated on 
the approach of Lord Rawdon to its relief. On his return to Black 
river he was attacked by Major Fraser with a very large force. 
Fraser lost twenty men and retreated. Having thus cheered the 
spirits of the people of the centre of the state, he retired to the bor- 
ders of North Carolina. In March, 1781, he raised three regiments 
of regulars. His previous enterprises had all been executed by 
militia. He subsequently took part in the military movements in the 
lower country, until the close of the war, and co-operating with 
Marion, struck many successful blows at the British, and was dis- 
tinguished in the several actions which were fought between Orange- 
burgh and Charleston. 

After the peace, General Sumpter was a distinguished member of 
the State Convention, in which he voted with those w4io opposed the 
adoption of the Federal Constitution, on the ground that the states 
were not sufficiently shielded by it against federal usurpation. He 
was afterwards selected one of the five members from that state in the 
House of Representatives of the first Congress under the Constitu- 



tion, and continued to represent South Carolina in the national coun- 
cils until 1808. He took an active part with the other members 
from this state, in denouncmg a petition for the abolition of slavery, 
which was pi:esented from the Quakers of Pennsylvania. 

For many years the veteran patriot lived in retirement amid the 
respect and affection of his neighbors. He retained his fine spirit 
unbroken to the end, and at the age of nearly a hundred years exhi- 
bited the cheerfulness and fire of youth. But a few weeks before 
his death, he vaulted into the saddle with the activity of a young 
man, and the faculties of the mind retained their vigor as well as 
those of the body. He died at his residence, South Mount, South 
Carolina, on the 1st of June, 1832, at the advanced age of ninety- 


'OSEPH REED was born at Tren 
ton, in New Jersey, in August, 
1741 ; but while yet an infant, 
was removed with his father's 
family to Philadelphia ; at the 
" Academy" in which city he received his 
boyish education. He was subsequently 
graduated at Princeton College ; read law 
under Richard Stockton, and after his ad- 
mission to the bar, in 1763, passed two years 
in London, in the completion of his professional studies. The rela- 
tions between the mother country and her offspring were already 
becoming involved ; the West India Bill and the Stamp Act had 
been added to the series of oppressions which gradually undermined 
the loyalty of America ; and the discontent was steadily growing 
up, which ten years later became rebellion. Reed's residence in 
England was eventful to him in more ways than one. He there 
formed an attachment to the lady whom he afterwards married, the 
daughter of Dennis de Berdt, at a later period agent of Massachu- 
setts ; and he there also made, in the person of her brother, an 


acquaintance whose agency led to some of the most important trans- 
actions of his life. In 1770 he revisited England to bring home his 
bride, and then settled and resumed the practice of the law in Phila- 

In 1772, upon the resignation of Lord Hillsborough, the Earl of 
Dartmouth succeeded to the Colonial Office. Between him and the 
elder De Berdt, there had existed a friendship which, after his death, 
was continued to his son ; and, at the instance of the latter, an inti- 
mation was conveyed to Reed that a correspondence upon the con- 
dition and wants of the colonies, with one free from interested views, 
would be agreeable to the minister. Entertaining the good opinion, 
at that time prevalent, with regard to Lord Dartmouth, Reed under- 
took the delicate and responsible task, with a full sense of its diffi- 
culties, but with the conviction that an opportunity of conveying 
correct information to such a quarter was not to be lost. The curse 
of the country had been the falsehoods of its governors ; it remained 
to be seen if truth could yet be made to penetrate the ears of their 
masters. Of the correspondence which followed, we hazard nothing 
in saying that it is among the most valuable contributions to American 
history yet presented. Reed's position in life, and his intimacy with 
the leading characters, not only of Pennsylvania, but of other states, 
gave him access to sound intelligence. He belonged to the class 
who, resolutely determined to resist even unto rebellion every inva- 
sion of the constitutional rights of the provinces, entertained, as yet, 
no disposition to loosen their connection with Great Britain ; and 
had endeavored rather to procure retraction from the latter than to 
stimulate excitement in the former. 

From such a man Lord Dartmouth might expect to hear the truth. 
It was not Reed's fault if it was disregarded. The letters commence 
with the 22d December, 1773, and close with the 10th February, 
1775. Their tone, from the relations of the writer to the person 
addressed, as may be supposed, is guarded, yet it is impossible not 
to be struck with their force as well as their elegance. They paint, 
in language which should have been convincing, the spirit of the 
people, and the dangers of the course so blindly entered upon and 
so obstinately followed by the ministry. The last letter narrated the 
proceedings of the Provincial Convention of January, 1775. It 
closed with the ominous declaration that " this country will be de- 
luged in blood before it will submit to any other taxation than by 
their ovra legislature." A few weeks after and Lexington and Con- 
cord had sealed that assertion. From Lord Dartmouth himself there 
is but one letter. It is dated July 11th, 1774. Of the justice of 
the two causes, we can point to no better illustrations than that and 


Reed's of September 25th, in reply. This correspondence, added 
to Reed's connection with an Enghsh family, were the cause of many 
suspicions on the part of those who could not know its character. 
Its publication must dissipate all such ideas of the views he enter- 
tained at this time, and upon his sincerity of patriotism subsequently, 
we apprehend there can be no shadow of doubt. 

The insight of the politics of Pennsylvania during this period, 
furnished by the connecting narrative of the author, is particularly 
valuable. The causes which prevented her, at the outset of the con- 
test with Great Britain, from taking the bold and decided stand in 
vindication of colonial rights, and from putting forth those strong 
assertions of the doctrines of liberty, upon which some of her sisters 
ventured, and the laborious efforts by which those influences were 
counteracted and destroyed, are pointed out with clearness and 
vigor. Towards the result, as it seems to us, no man contributed 
more than Reed. We pass to the commencement of his military life. 

On Washington's departure in June, 1775, to take charge of the 
army, Reed accompanied him to Boston, and while there was offered 
and accepted the post of aid to the commander-in-chief. To one of 
his friends, who remonstrated with him on the danger of the step, he 
made the characteristic reply, "I have no inclination to be hanged 
for half treason. When a subject draws his sword against his prince, 
he must cut his way through if he means afterwards to sit down in 
safety. I have taken too active a part in what may be called the 
civil part of opposition, to renounce without disgrace the public cause, 
when it seems to lead to danger, and have a most sovereign contempt 
for the man who can plan measures he has not spirit to execute." 
It was upon the urgent solicitation of Washington himself that he was 
induced to remain. The sacrifice, it may be imagined, was a great 
one to a young man with narrow means, just entering upon a lucrative 
practice, and leaving behind him a wife and two infant children, but 
it was made without a murmur, and the author proudly adds, as the 
due of a woman of the revolution, that "the young mother did her 
absent patriot full justice, by her fortitude and cheerful acquiescence 
in his thus following the path of honor and public duty." The rela- 
tions between the commander-in-chief and Reed, were henceforth of 
the most intimate nature. The expressions of Washington's esteem 
for his merits, and dependence on his assistance, are constant and 
warm. Reed was in fact the confidential secretary as well as the 
aid, and his pen was employed in the preparation of many of the most 
important despatches of this campaign. 

The siege of Boston is truly characterized by the author, as one 
of the most remarkable incidents of the war. Between the renown 


Jolin Adams. 

of Bunker Hill, and the disasters of Long Island, few persons suffi 
ciently consider the generalship which there, in the face of a powerful 
and disciplined foe, organized, disciplined and disbanded one army, 
and raised and equipped another ; few know the difficulties under- 
gone from want of arms and necessaries, and the fatal systems of 
short terms, or appreciate how entirely it was by compulsion that 
Washington deserved the attributes of Fabius. 

In October, Reed was forced to return to Philadelphia, where he 
remained during the ensuing winter, actively engaged, however, in 
political affairs. 

Reed, who was chairman of the Pennsylvania Committee of 
Safety, in January, 1776, was elected to the assembly, where he 
took a conspicuous part in the debates, and was especially instru- 
mental in procuring one great step towards the redress of grievances 
complained of by the people in enlarging the number of representa- 
tives. The winter, however, had passed over without any definite 
result, and Reed was contemplating a return to the army, when the 
news of the evacuation of Boston reached Philadelphia. 

The event gave a new impulse to the revolutionary party in Penn- 
sylvania, as elsewhere. On the first of May, the election for the 
additional members of assembly took place, which, except in the 



Independence HaJl, Pluladelpliia. 

city, resulted in the triumph of the whigs. The fate of the old 
charter was sealed. 

On the 10th, John Adams brought forward in Congress his resolu- 
tion recommending the remodelling by the states of their govern- 
ments, and speedily followed it up by the report of the committee to 
whom the subject was referred. A meetmg of the citizens of Phila- 
delphia immediately decided upon calling a convention, to take 
the sense of the people upon the continuance of the charter. The 
friends of the existing order of things struggled against the movement 
in vain. The assembly, which met again on the 20th, was left con- 
stantly without a quorum, until the 5th of June, when the Virginia 
resolutions instructing their delegates in Congress to vote for inde- 
pendence, were presented to it. On the 8th, a compromise committee, 
to whom they were referred, of which Reed was a member, reported, 
the result being, as was expected, only to recommend the rescinding 
the instructions to the Pennsylvania delegates of the year before. 
The eifect was, however, produced. " Of the seven Pennsylvania 
delegates in Congress, on the vote of the 1st of July, in committee 
of the whole, three voted for independence and four against it ; and 
on the 4th, two of those who voted adversely to independence being 


absent, the vote of Pennsylvania w^as accidentally, and by a majority 
of one, given in its favor." Thus hardly was that declaration secured, 
which she afterwards so nobly sustained. 

The assembly was now a nullity. On the 23d September it met 
again ; on the 26th, twenty-three members only being present, it 
passed its last vote, denouncing the convention, and adjourned for- 
ever. Thus ended the charter government of Pennsylvania. The 
new constitution was proclaimed on the 28th of September, and on 
the 28th November, the government was organized by the meeting 
of the assembly. 

In June, Reed joined the army, then at New York. Early in that 
month Congress, at the instance of the commander-in-chief, had 
appointed him to the post of adjutant-general, vacant by the promo- 
tion of General Gates, and from thenceforward he was constantly in 
active service. 

On the 10th July, independence was proclaimed at camp, and a 
few days afterw^ards Lord Howe arrived, bringing his plan of recon- 
ciliation. Like every other retraction or overture of Great Britain, 
it came too late. The declaration had thrown an insurmountable 
obstacle in its way. That the terms themselves would have been 
declined, even if the point of form had not been raised, is certain 
enough — but that it would have led to results important to the rela- 
tions of the colonies, is not less so. Many of the most distinguished 
patriots had, up to the time of the declaration, considered the step 
premature ; many even preferred a continuance of the connection, 
could it be maintained with honor. New England was, in fact, the 
only section originally bent upon independence, and it had been her 
pertinacity, aided by that of a few southern spirits, who went before 
their constituents, which forced it on. 

Lord Howe, who had neglected no means of securing success to 
his mission, had furnished himself with an urgent recommendation 
from Mr. de Berdt, Reed's brother-in-law, which he transmitted to 
camp, and which Reed forthwith sent to Robert Morris, in Congress. 
Between him and Morris there seems to have been, as regarded 
national aifairs, not only an entire harmony of friendship, but a per- 
fect unanimity of opinion. His letter to that statesman, and the 
answer, now for the first time published, strikingly illustrate the 
characters of the two, and the opinions of a great and influential 
division of the patriots. Our space will ill allow us to make extracts, 
but this one sentiment in Morris' letter, in unison as it was with his 
friend's views, cannot be too often repeated or imitated. " I cannot," 
he says, " depart from one point which first induced me to enter the 
public line. I mean an opinion that it is the duty of every individual 



Robert Morris 

to act his part in whatever station his country may call him to, in 
times of difficulty, danger, and distress. Whilst I think this a duty, 
I must submit, although the councils of America have taken a differ- 
ent course from my judgment and wishes. I think that the individual 
who declines the service of his country because its councils are not 
conformable to his ideas, makes but a bad subject ; a good one will 
follow, if he cannot lead." 

The letter from Mr, de Berdt of course led to nothing ; but Reed 
was present at all the interviews with the officers sent by Lord Howe 
to the commander-in-chief. The mission, it need not be said, proved 
utterly abortive. Its preliminaries were embarrassed by the absurd 
refusal of Lord Howe to recognize Washington by his military title, 
and its powers extended no farther than the granting of pardons. It 
served, to a certain extent, perhaps, to satisfy individuals that their 
rights could only be secured by the sword ; on the other hand, it 
created in the camp a feeling of uncertainty, little favorable to dis- 
cipline. All doubts, however, as to negotiation, were soon dispelled. 

On the 22d of August, General Howe landed at Gravesend, and the 



war Recommenced, and in earnest. The second attempt at negotia- 
tion, made after the battle of Long Island, in which rank waswaivedon 
both sides, was as futile, Mr, W. B. Reed's narrative of that battle, 
and the operations which preceded and followed it, contains much 
that is new and important,* We heartily join in his testimony to the 
conduct on that occasion of the Pennsylvania troops, who, in defence 
of their sister colony, conducted themselves with a gallantry worthy 
of veterans. Reed himself was present at the action of the 2Tth, 
and assisted in the withdrawal of the army on the night of the 29th. 
Upon this and the subsequent operations of the campaign, the evacua- 
tion of New York, the battle of White Plains, and the siege of Fort 
Washington, Reed's correspondence is full and interesting. Reed's 
admirable qualifications for his office were exhibited most strongly 
throughout. His energy and activity, his capacity for continuous 
labor, were remarkable, and in the restoration of the army, disor- 
ganized as it was by continued disasters, were all needed. 

The siege and fall of Fort Washington, gave rise to an occurrence 
which has been often misrepresented or misunderstood. Mr. W. B. 
Reed, in his Life and Correspondence of Joseph Reed, not only fully, 
but most honorably explains it, so far as Reed was concerned. The 
propriety of defending that position, isolated as it was, it is well 
known, has always been a subject of military controversy ; and 
Washington, in this instance, had suffered his own judgment to be 
overruled by the weight of contrary opinions. Reed was, at the 
time, with the main army, which, after the battle of Chatterton's 
Hill, had crossed the river to Fort Lee, and was deeply interested in 
the fate of that place, defended as it was almost entirely by Penn 
sylvania troops. A few days after its fall he wrote to Lee, who had 
been left with a force to guard the highlands, expressing, but in 
respectful terms, his opinion of this indecision, and his wish for Lee's 
presence. In reply to this letter, Lee, apparently echoing Reed's 
language, gave to it an expression which it by no means justified. 

The letter reached camp after Reed's departure to Burlington, and 
was, as usual, opened by the commander-in-chief, under the idea that 
it related to the business of the department. Deeply wounded, not 
only at the expression of such opinions by one holding the high mili- 
tary reputation which Lee then did, but at the apparent want of 
candor in his intimate and confidential officer, Washington yet never 
lost his habitual dignity. He enclosed the letter to Reed, explaining 
the circumstances of his having opened it, as an " excuse for seeing 
the contents of a letter which neither inclination nor intuition would 
have prompted him to." 

* Life and Correspondence of Joseph Reed 



Battle Ground of Trenton. 

Reed, after an attempt to recover the original of his own, which, 
in consequence of Lee's capture by the British, proved futile, wrote 
to Washington, simply explaining the sentiments really contained in 
it, and expressing, in language as beautiful as appropriate, his regret 
at having, even unjustly, forfeited his regard. Washington's reply 
was such as became him. " He was hurt, not because he thought 
his judgment wronged by the expressions contained in it, but because 
the same sentiments were not communicated immediately to himself." 
It need not be said that their old friendship was restored. Not so 
Lee. At a later period, to gratify his resentment towards Washing- 
ton, he had the baseness, in a newspaper article, to allude to Reed's 
private opinion of the commander-in-chief, as contrary to what he 
publicly professed towards him, hinting at that letter as his authority. 
The attempt did him no good, nor harm to those to whom he 
intended it. 

The commencement of the ensuing winter was marked with gloom 
and despondency. Washington's army, reduced to a handful, were 
driven beyond the Raritan. Lee was a prisoner ; New Jersey was 
in the uncontrolled possession of the enemy, its legislature scattered 
to the winds ; Cornwallis with a strong and well appointed force 
rapidly pursuing the wreck of the continentals. It was in this dark 
hour that Pennsylvania almost of herself retrieved the fortunes of 
the war. Mifflin and Reed were successively despatched to Phila- 
delphia for aid, and it was forthcoming. "At no period of the war," 
says our author, " did any portion of the colonies exhibit a finer 
spirit than the majority of the citizens of Pennsylvania at this junc- 


tur€. The militia was immediately and efficiently organized, and a 
large body, well equipped, marched to join Washington at the upper 
passes of the Delaware." Offensive operations were at once deter- 
mined upon, and the battles of Trenton and of Princeton reversed 
the position of the armies. During the whole of the movements, 
Reed was exceedingly active ; at Princeton he bore a most conspicu- 
ous part. 

MMEDIATELY after these events, Washington urged upon 
Congress the appointment of an additional number of gene- 
rals, recommending Reed to the command of the horse "as 
a person in his opinion in everyway qualified." At the end 
of February, and again in April, elections were accordingly 
made, but no order was taken with reference to the separate 
command of the horse, and it was not until the 12th of May that 
Reed was elected a brigadier. On the 27th of that month they em- 
powered the general-in-chief to confer that command upon one of 
the generals already appointed, and he immediately offered it to 
Reed. He, justly .offended at the coldness with which he had been 
treated, declined it, resolving however to join the army as a volun- 
teer as soon as active operations commenced. 

The cause of the neglect is ascribed by his biographer, and no 
doubt correctly, to the hostility to Washington and his friends which 
already had infected a portion of Congress, and which the next year 
so virulently displayed itself — added to which that Reed had been 
charged with injustice to the New England troops. Washington 
made no further offer to fill the situation, which remained vacant 
until the election of Pulaski. A letter from Reed to a member of 
Congress refers to the subject in a manner highly honorable to him : 
expressing the wish that no difficulties might arise in consequence of 
a difference of opinion between that body and Washington, as " any 
claims or pretensions which he might have, were they much greater, 
ought not to disturb the harmony which should exist between the 
civil and military powers ;" he ends by authorizing such use of his 
letter as would obviate difficulties. About the same time he was 
appointed chief justice of Pennsylvania, a post which had always 
been filled with the highest talent in the state. The offer was the 
more honorable as Reed had been a known opponent of many features 
of the constitution. He however declined it. 

The spring and summer of 1777 he passed with his family, his 
plans of life undetermined ; but on Sir William Howe's landing at 
the head of Elk in August, he again joined the army as a volunteer, 
attaching himself to the Pennsylvania troops under Armstrong. At 
the battle of Brandywine, and during the other operations following, 


he rendered important services, and at Germantown distinguished 
himself particularly. 

The fall succeeding the capture of Philadelphia was spent in an 
obstinate defence of the Delaware, and in efforts to retake the city. 
Severely as its loss had fallen upon the country, the army had rallied 
under the blow, and offensive operations were constantly attempted. 
Reed, who seems to have been ever in favor of fighting, upon the 
final abandonment of the capital, turned his mind to other sources 
of annoyance. A letter to Washington of December 1st, urges an 
attempt on New York. About this time he was recalled to camp to 
assist in deciding upon winter quarters, and there took part in the 
last affair of the campaign, the skirmish at Chesnut Hill, where he 
had his horse shot under him. 

On the 17th December the army took up its quarters at Valley 
Forge. The history of that winter is familiar to every one. The 
shameful abandonment of the army by Congress to famine and cold 
reduced it to the verge of destruction. It was not until the middle 
of January that they were made to act, when a committee, of which 
Reed, who had been elected to that body, was one, were appointed 
with full powers to repair to camp and confer with the commander- 
in-chief. The result of their mission, tardily enough, however, was 
the reorganization of the quartermaster's department, to which 
Gen. Greene was appointed. Reed's services were considered so 
valuable that he was detained in camp, and did not retake his seat 
until the 6th April. In the beginning of June he again proceeded 
to camp under a resolution of Congress, referring to Washington, 
Dana and himself, the remodelling of the army, and to this duty he 
devoted himself. Intelligence from Europe now infused new life 
and hope into the nation. On the 18th June, the British evacuated 
Philadelphia, and on the 28th was fought at Monmouth a battle 
memorable as one of the turning points of the war. In that action 
Reed participated, having his horse again shot under him. 

In the summer of 1778, the second attempt at negotiation was 
made by Great Britain in the mission of Lord Carlisle, Mr. Eden, 
and Governor Johnstone. Of this business Mr. W. B. Reed remarks : 
" During the Revolution the diplomacy of the British ministry was, 
if possible, less dexterous and successful than their military policy. 
They were always a little too late. Lord Howe arrived a few days 
after the irrevocable measure of independence was adopted ; and 
Lord Carlisle and his colleagues did not sail from Great Britain till 
some weeks after the news of the French alliance was on its way to 
America, and Congress, by its resolution of the 22d April, 1778, 
had pledged themselves to the world against the very propositions 


offered. Lord North introduced his conciliatory propositions into 
Parhament on the 17th February, and the commissioners sailed on 
the 22d April. On the 2d of May Washington and his soldiers were 
rejoicing at the intelligence of the alliance with France." 

The propositions now brought went much farther than those of 
Lord Howe in the summer of 1776 ; they went, in fact, farther than 
the colonies, before the outset of hostilities, had ever asked, but they 
stopped short of the only terms now practicable, independence. The 
commissioners seem, however, this time to have concluded upon the 
use of new appliances in support of their terms. Instead of the 
armies of Howe, Johnstone furnished himself with gold. It proved 
even less available than the old argument. 

Mr. de Berdt had again furnished them with a recommendation to 
Reed ; and a few days after their arrival in Philadelphia, Johnstone 
transmitted it to him, accom.panied by one from himself. This docu- 
ment possessed every requisite for a successful opening except one. 
It was addressed to the wrong person. In conclusion the writer 
said : " The man who can be instrumental in bringing us all to act 
m harmony, and to unite together the various powers which this con- 
test has drawn forth, will deserve more from the king and the people, 
from patriotism, humanity, friendship, and all the tender ties that are 
affected by the quarrel and the reconciliation than ever was yet be- 
stowed on human kind." The letter Reed at once showed to Wash- 
ington, and in a courteous but decided answer declined all personal 
interposition. That answer Johnstone never received ; had it reached 
him, it might have deterred him from his subsequent attempt. 

Not receiving a reply from Reed, the third commissioner endea- 
vored to approach Mr. Morris — with what success may readily be 
imagined. The open and direct business of the mission had been 
closed by the refusal of Congress to hold intercourse with them ; 
and Lord Carlisle, it seems, was speedily satisfied of its failure. 
Johnstone, however, thought it worth while to make one further and 
more direct overture, and that upon Reed. The agent selected for 
this purpose was Mrs. Ferguson, who, in her public narrative, verified 
by oath, subsequentlv detailed the whole transaction. The circum- 
stances are almost too well known to need repetition. SufRce it to 
say that the offer was "ten thousand guineas and the best post in 
the government." It was by her communicated to Reed, whose in- 
stant and memorable answer was : — " My influence is but small, but 
were it as great as Governor Johnstone would insinuate, the King 
of Great Britain has nothing within his gift that would tempt me." 

The letters and this offer were, by Messrs. Morris and Reed, com- 
municated to Congress ; and when made know^n produced much ex- 



citement. A preamble and resolutions, reciting the overtures and 
denouncing their author, were adopted, and the commissioners re 
turned from their bootless errand — Johnstone to abuse Congress, and 
Lord Carlisle to find in his family circle and the conversation of 
George Selwyn a relief from his vexation. 

N the middle of July, Reed resumed his seat 
in Congress, and remained, with occasional 
intervals of employment, at camp until the 
autumn. "During this period," says his 
biographer, " his services seem to have been un- 
ceasing. He was a member of every important 
committee ; and being the only speaking member 
from his state, seems to have taken a lead in every discussion." In 
October be was called to another and even more arduous service. 
The Pennsylvania elections resulted in the choice of a majority of 
the friends of the state constitution in both branches of its govern- 
ment ; and Reed, who though originally opposed to and never approv- 
ing its provisions, had considered it his duty to support it when 
adopted, was elected to the council. On the 1st of December he 
was unanimously chosen president of that body, an office equivalent 
to that of governor of the state. 

In connection with this event in the life of his subject, Mr. W. B. 
Reed has given a most valuable sketch of the then condition of 
affairs in Philadelphia. Upon the recapture of the city, Arnold had 
unfortunately been appointed to the command. The consequences 
of his profligacy in its general misgovernment are already partially 
known ; less so that his treasonable practices had commenced even 
at this time. Upon this subject, as well as of his general history, 
much that is new to us is afforded. It has been fashionable among 
some sentimentalists to represent that man as one, whose high spirit, 
wounded by injustice, drove him, almost in madness, to his last fatal 
step. If the investigations of Mr. Sparks have not already done so, 
we apprehend that the proofs contained in Mr. W. B. Reed's work 
will put an end to this twaddle. " The constitutional obliquity of 
Arnold's mind," observes the author, " with its gradual development 
of the worst of social crimes, treason to his country, is as much a 
part of the revolutionary picture as the complete virtue of Wash- 
ington." Arnold's official corruption had begun at Quebec ; it was 
continued down through every step of his subsequent career ; till, at 
Philadelphia, its unblushing openness provoked the council beyond 
endurance, and he was finally brought to court-martial. During the 
period of his government, or rather misgovernment, his attentions to 
the tories and his insolence to the whigs, his balls given to the wives 


of refugees, and his influence used to procure the pardon of traitors, 
should have forewarned Congress of what was to be expected from 
him. To Reed was in a great measure due his exposure ; and upon 
him Arnold, one of whose first characteristics was his malignity, 
visited it without remorse. 

It was amidst these disorders, and the greatest exasperation of 
party, on the subject of the state constitution, that Reed, contrary 
alike to his wishes and his interest, relinquished his military career, 
and his post in Congress, and accepted the presidency of the execu- 
tive council. " The history of the next three years of his life," says 
his biographer, " dating from the time at which he relinquished his 
seat in Congress, is the history of Pennsylvania. Placed, as will 
presently be seen, by the suffrages of all parties, at a time when 
political opinion was at fever heat, at the head of the executive 
department of the state government, he threw into the discharge of 
this trust all his energies, and labored in the public cause with an 
intensity of devotion which it is difficult to describe, and which led 
to the utter prostration of his health and premature termination of 
his life. He became the centre of the party which supported the 
existing frame of government, and the accredited leader of the con- 
stitutional whigs." 

To the army generally his appointment gave great satisfaction. 
Washington's letter of congratulation was sincere and hearty. 
Greene and Wayne both joined in the expression of this feeling ; 
and we may add, that Reed's watchfulness and zeal for the welfare 
of the troops, at all times, deserved their regard. During the dark 
period which preceded the arrival of substantial assistance from 
France, when the utter explosion of the paper system, and the ex- 
haustion of credit, reduced the army for months to the verge of 
dissolution, Reed gave no peace or rest to the legislature till he 
forced from them what assistance he might. On more than one 
occasion, too, when movements of importance were at hand, as in 
the contemplated attempt upon New York, in this autumn, and again 
in August, 1780, he himself headed the levies of his state, and 
exchanged the toils of government only for the fatigues' of camp. 

In the narrative of this part of his administration we find a succinct 
view of one great cause of the embarrassments which existed during 
the revolution — the gross errors prevalent on the subject of finance. 
In these respects the country was far behind its knowledge on matters 
of general legislation, and the middle states even far behind the 
eastern. Embargo and tender laws, commercial restrictions, and 
limitations of prices, were almost everywhere the means by which 
the legislatures essayed to financier through the war. Reed appears 




l4 ^ 

Specimen of Continental Bills. 

upon these points to have been far wiser than his generation. Speak- 
ing of the last class of acts, he says : " The commerce of mankind 
must be free, or almost all kinds of intercourse will cease. Regula- 
tion stagnates industry, and creates a universal discontent." Unfor- 
tunately, his opinions had, at first, but little weight with the assembly, 
which was thoroughly imbued with the popular fallacies, and infinite 
trouble arose from their legislation. Forestalling was the bugbear 
of the day. Its eff'ects were bad enough, it is true, but the remedy 
was one which never cured that disease. The excitement in Phila- 
delphia upon these subjects at one time broke out into a riot, which, 
but for Reed's firmness, threatened the most dangerous results. It 
was not until 1781 that he finally, as it were, forced the assembly 
into a repeal of the tender laws, and thus gave the death blow to a 
currency which had been upheld contrary to all right, as it was con- 
trary to all sense. Among the important topics presented, in the 
beginning of Mr. Reed's administration, were the measure known as 
the Proprietary Bill, or " Divesting Act," which stripped the proprie- 
taries of the public domain, as the declaration of independence had 
the monarch of his paramount sovereignty ; the transfer of the 
College Charter, like the former one of a revolutionary character 
and necessity ; and the gradual abolition of slavery. All these he 
strenuously advocated and carried. 

Our space will allow us no opportunity of entering at large upon 
so intricate a field as his administration opens upon us. Reed held 
the station of supreme executive of the state until December, 1781, 
the constitutional limit of his office. To all who are familiar wit)j 



the history of the Revolution, its last years are known as those of its 
greatest trials. The first enthusiasm of conflict had passed away ; 
the slight resources of the new-born states had been exhausted. To 
them had succeeded poverty and ruin ; in some states lethargy ; in 
others dogged, stubborn resistance, the despair which yields not, but 
dies fighting. The situation of Pennsylvania was especially deplor- 
able. Cursed with an incompetent frame of government, and with 
factions which rendered even that more incapable ; bankrupt in her 
finances ; drained of her blood ; yet withal, the state upon which, 
from magnitude, central situation, and as the seat of the general 
Congress, her sisters looked for the greatest exertions, she staggered 
through the close of the war like a worn-out racer beneath the spur 
of its rider. A sterner one never forced panting steed or wearied 
nation through its course. 

The president possessed moral, in as eminent a degree as physical 
courage. Neither love of power nor popularity, the fear of losing 
influence or friends, stayed him in his path. His ambition — and few 
men, we believe, were more ambitious — was not that of the dema- 
gogue or the office-hunter. He sought public station, not for itself 
or for its profits, but as a field of public service. His energy was 
intense, his activity unceasing, his capacity for labor as extraordinary 
as his love of it. His was an unyielding, impetuous and daring 
nature. He wielded the dangerous power which at times was 
entrusted to him without hesitation or fear, but he wielded it never 
for private gain or for personal emolument. 

EW persons have reaped for public service a larger 
reward of slander and of misunderstanding than did 
Reed. That he stirred up the enmity of Mifflin, that 
he earned the hatred of Arnold, of Conway, and of 
Lee, was hardly to be regretted. It was his misfor- 
tune that the falsehood sometimes outlived the credit 
of its fabricator, and found its way into the minds of purer men. It 
appears to us to have been however his fault, that a spirit of acerbity 
became engrafted upon his disposition, which often alienated friends, 
and which led him in turn, to do injustice to the motives or the cha- 
racters of others. In the latter part of his life in particular, this 
harshness, perhaps the effect of corroding care and disappointment, 
exhibits itself. His prejudices were strong even to bitterness, and 
he was most unguarded in his expression of them. But with these 
faults. Reed was still a great man, and did great service to his state 
and to his country. We should do injustice to many noble spirits of 
the Revolution, did we judge them by their personal friendships or 
enmities. Times of great danger often bind together men of dis- 



similar characters. Times of long-continued suffering often too 
estrange men who respect each other. It was at least a consolation 
that Reed carried to his grave the confidence and affection of Wash- 
ington, of Greene, and of Anthony Wayne. 

The descendant, whose filial duty has given us t<he records of his 
ancestor's life, has discharged his part faithfully. The facts upon 
which Reed's enemies based their substantial accusations, he has 
stated, as it seems to us, without flinching ; he has also met them 
manfully, and, as we think, with entire success. That, down to the 
breaking out of hostilities, Reed was desirous of a reconciliation with 
England, is admitted — few people, at least in the middle and southern 
states, were not. That he would have sacrificed one principle to 
effect that reconciliation, we have every evidence in contradiction. 
That he was not prepared for a declaration of independence when it 
took place, seems probable. He was not alone in the sentiment. 
So late as April 1st, 1776, Washington wrote him : " My countrymen, 
I know from their form of government and steady attachment hereto- 
fore to royality, will come reluctantly into the idea of independency." 
But that he would have retreated after that step, there is no such 
probability. The often recurred to charge of a disposition or willing- 
ness to intrigue with the enemy, we hold to be utterly and entirely 
false. The man who in the outset of the struggle refused the bribe 
which Johnstone offered to Reed, should not afterwards have been 
suspected. At the first blow struck, he went into the fight ; and he 
went through it without faltering or hesitation. He was not " to be 
hung for half treason." Calumny has been too often the lot of great 
men, and those of Pennsylvania do not seem to us to have furnished 
exceptions. General Reed died on the 5th of March, 1785, in the 
forty-third year of his age.* 

• American Review, 


"~1 HIS distinguished officer was born in Salisbury, 
Connecticut, from whence, while he was yet 
young, his parents emigrated to Vermont. By 
this circumstance, he was deprived of the ad- 
vantages of an early education. But, although 
he never felt its genial influence, nature had 
endowed him with strong powers of mind ; 
and when called to take the field, he showed 
himself an able leader, and an intrepid soldier. 
At the commencement of the disturbances 
in Vermont, about the year 1770, he took a 
most active part in favor of the Green Moun- 
tain Boys, as the settlers were then called, in 
opposition to the government of New York. 
Bold, enterprising, and ambitious, he undertook to direct the proceed- 
ings of the inhabitants, and wrote several pamphlets to display the 
supposed injustice, and oppressive designs of the New York proceed- 
ings. The uncultivated roughness of his own temper and manners, 
seems to have assisted him in giving a just description of the views 
and proceedings of speculating land-jobbers. His writings produced 
effects so hostile to the views of the state of New York, that an act 
of outlawry was passed against him, and five hundred guineas were 
offered for his apprehension. But his party was too numerous and 
faithful to permit him to be disturbed by any apprehensions for his 
safety. In all the struggles of the day he w^as successful, and proved 
a valuable friend to those whose cause he had espoused. 

The news of the battle of Lexington determined Allen to engage 
on the side of his country, and inspired with the desire of demon- 
strating his attachment to liberty, by some bold exploit. While in 
this state of mind, a plan for taking Ticonderoga and Crown Point by 




surprise, which was formed by several gentlemen in Connecticut, 
was communicated to him, and he readily engaged in the project. 
Receiving directions from the general assembly of Connecticut, to 
raise the Green Mountain Boys, and conduct the enterprise, he col- 
lected two hundred and thirty of the hardy settlers, and proceeded 
to Castleton. Here he was unexpectedly joined by Colonel Arnold, 
who had been commissioned by the Massachusetts committee to 
raise four hundred men, and effect the same object which was now 
about to be accomplished. They reached the lake opposite Ticon- 
deroga, on the evening of the 9th of May, 1775. With the utmost 
difficulty boats were procured, and eighty-three men were landed 
near the garrison. Arnold now wished to assume the command, to 
lead on the men, and swore that he would go in himself the first. 
Allen swore that he should not. The dispute beginning to run high, 
some of the gentlemen present interposed, and it was agreed that 
both should go in together, Allen on the right hand, and Arnold on 
the left. The following is Allen's own account of the affair : — 

^^' ^ HE first systematical and bloody attempt at 

Lexington, to enslave America, thoroughly 
electrified my mind, and fully determined 
me to take a part with my country. And 
while I was wishing for an opportunity to 
signalize myself in its behalf, directions 
were privately sent to me from the then 
colony, now state of Connecticut, to raise 
the Green Mountain Boys, and if possible with them to surprise and 
take the fortress of Ticonderoga. This enterprise I cheerfully under- 
took ; and after first guarding all the several passes that lead thither, 
to cut off all intelligence between the garrison and the country, made 
a forced march from Bennington, and arrived at the lake opposite 
Ticonderoga, on the evening of the 9th of May, 1775, with two 
hundred and thirty valiant Green Mountain Boys ; and it was with 
the utmost difficulty that I procured boats to cross the lake. How- 
ever, I landed eighty-three men near the garrison, and sent the boats 
back for the rear guard, commanded by Colonel Seth Warner ; but 
the day began to dawn, and I found myself necessitated to attack 
the fort, before the rear could cross the lake ; and as it was viewed 
hazardous, I harangued the officers and soldiers in the manner follow*- 
ing : ' Friends and fellow-soldiers ; you have, for a number of years 
past, been a scourge and terror to arbitrary powers. Your valor has 
been famed abroad, and acknowledged, as appears by the advice and 
orders to me from the general assembly of Connecticut, to surprise 
and take the garrison now before us. I now propose to advance 


before you, and in person conduct you through the wicket gate ; for 
we must this morning either quit our pretensions to valor, or possess 
ourselves of this fortress in a few minutes ; and inasmuch as it is a 
desperate attempt, which none but the bravest of men dare undertake, 
I do not urge it on any contrary to his will. You that will undertake 
voluntarily, poise your firelock.' 

The men being at this time drawn up in three ranks, each poised 
his firelock. I ordered, them to face to the right ; and at the head, 
of the centre file I marched them immediately to the wicket gate 
aforesaid, where I found a sentry posted, who instantly snapped his 
fusee at me. I ran immediately towards him, and he retreated 
through the covered way into the parade within the garrison, gave a 
halloo, and ran under a bomb proof. My party who followed me 
into the fort, I formed on the parade in such a manner as to face the 
barracks, which faced each other. The garrison being asleep, ex- 
cept the sentries, we gave three huzzas, which greatly surprised 
them. One of the sentries made a pass at one of my officers with 
a charged bayonet, and slightly wounded him. My first thought was 
to kill him with my sword, but in an instant I altered the design and 
fury of the blow to a slight cut on the side of the head ; upon which 
he dropped his gun and asked quarters, which I readily granted him, 
and demanded the place where the commanding officer kept. He 
showed me a pair of stairs in the front of the garrison, which led up 
to a second story in said barracks, to which I immediately repaired, 
and ordered the commander. Captain Delaplace, to come forth in- 
stantly, or I would sacrifice the whole garrison : at which time the 
captain came immediately to the door, with his breeches in his hand, 
when I ordered him to deliver to me the fort instantly ; he asked me 
by what authority I demanded it. I answered him, ' In the name 
of the great Jehovah and the Continental Congress.' The authority 
of Congress being very little known at that time, he began to speak 
again, but I interrupted him, and with my drawn sword near his 
head, again demanded an immediate surrender of the garrison ; with 
which he then complied, and ordered his men to be forthwith paraded 
without arms, as he had given up the garrison. In the mean tim.e, 
some of my officers had given orders, and in consequence thereof 
sundry of the barrack doors were beat down, and about one-third of 
the garrison imprisoned, which consisted of said commander, a lieu- 
tenant Feltham, a conductor of artillery, a gunner, two sergeants, 
and forty-four rank and file ; about one hundred pieces of cannon, 
one thirteen inch mortar, and a num.ber of swivels. This surprise 
was carried into execution in the gray of the morning of the 10th 
of May, 1775. The sun seemed to rise that morning with a supe 


rior lustre ; and Ticonderoga and its dependencies smiled on its 
conquerors, who tossed about the flowing bowl, and wished success 
to Congress, and the liberty and freedom of America. Happy it 
was for me, at that time, that the future pages of the book of fate, 
which afterward unfolded a miserable scene of two years and eight 
months imprisonment, were hid from my view." 

This brilliant exploit secured to Allen a high reputation for in- 
trepid valor throughout the country. In the fall of 1775, he was 
sent twice into Canada to observe the dispositions of the people, and 
attach them if possible to the American cause. During one of these 
excursions, he made a rash and romantic attempt upon Montreal. 
He had been sent by General Montgomery with a guard of eighty 
men on a tour into the villages in the neighborhood. Onihis return, 
he was met by a Major Brown, who had been on the same business. 
It was agreed between them to make a descent upon the island of 
Montreal. Allen was to cross the river, and land with his party a 
little north of the city ; while Brown was to pass over a little to the 
south, with near two hundred men. Allen crossed the river in the 
night, as had been proposed, but by some means Brown and his party 
failed. Instead of returning, Allen, with great rashness, concluded to 
maintain his ground. General Carlton soon received intelligence of 
Allen's situation and the smallness of his numbers, and marched 
out against him with about forty regulars and a considerable 
number of English, Canadians and Indians, amounting, in the 
whole, to some hundreds. Allen attempted to defend himself, but 
it was to no purpose. Being deserted by several of his men, and 
having fifteen killed, he, with thirty-eight of his men, w^ere taken 

He was now kept for some time in irons, and was treated with the 
most rigorous and unsparing cruelty. From his narratiA^e it appears 
that the irons placed on him were uncommonly heavy, and so 
fastened, that he could not lie down, otherwise than on his back. A 
chest was his seat by day, and his bed by night. Soon after his 
capture, still loaded with irons, he was sent to England, being 
assured that the halter would be the reward of his rebellion when he 
arrived there. Finding that threats and menaces had no effect upon 
him, high command and a large tract of the conquered country was 
afterward offered him, on condition he would join the British. To 
the last he replied, "that he viewed their offer of conquered United 
States land, to be similar to that which the devil offered to Jesus 
Christ : to give him all the kingdoms of the world, if he would fall 
down and worship him, when, at the same time, the poor devil had 
not one foot of land upon earth." 


FTER his arrival, about the middle of December, 
he was lodged, for a short time, in Pendennis 
Castle, near Falmouth, On the 8th of January, 
1776, he was put on board a frigate, and by a 
circuitous route again carried to Halifax. Here 
he remained closely confined in the jail from 
June to October, when he was removed to New 
York. During the passage to this place. Captain Burke, a daring 
prisoner, proposed to kill the British captain, and seize the frigate ; 
but Allen refused to engage in the plot, and was probably the means 
of saving the life of Captain Smith, who had treated him with kind- 
ness. He was kept at New York about a year and a half, sometimes 
imprisoned, and sometimes permitted to be on parole. While here 
he had an opportunity to observe the inhuman manner in which the 
American prisoners were treated. In one of the churches in which 
they were crowded, he saw seven lying dead at one time, and others 
biting pieces of chips from hunger. He calculated, »that of the 
prisoners taken on Long Island and at Fort Washington, near two 
thousand perished by hunger and cold, or in consequence of diseases 
occasioned by the impurity of their prisons. 

Colonel Allen was exchanged for Colonel Campbell, May 6th, 
1778, and after having repaired to head-quarters, and offered his 
services to General Washington, in case his health should be restored, 
he returned to Vermont. His arrival on the evening of the last day 
of May, gave his friends great joy, and it was announced by the dis- 
charge of cannon. As an expression of confidence in his patriotism 
and military talents, he was very soon appointed to the command of 
the state militia. His intrepidity, however, was never again brought 
to the test, though his patriotism was tried by an unsuccessful attempt 
of the British to bribe him to attempt a union of Vermont with Canada. 
He died suddenly on his estate, February 13th, 1789, 

General Allen was brave, humane and generous ; yet his conduct 
does not seem to have been much influenced by considerations 
respecting that holy and merciful Being, whose character and whose 
commands are disclosed to us in the Scriptures, His notions with 
regard to religion were loose and absurd. He believed wdth Pytha- 
goras, the heathen philosopher, that men, after death, would trans- 
migrate into beasts, birds, fishes, reptiles, &c., and often informed 
his friends that he himself expected to live again in the form of a 
large white horse. k//,/!/ //./../. o 


ENERAL MORGAN was the creator 
of his own fortune. Born of poor, 
though honest parents, he enjoyed none 
of the advantages which result from 
wealth and early education. But his 
was a spirit that would not tamely 
yield to difficulties. 

" He was born in New Jersey, where, 
from his poverty and low condition, he 
had been a day-laborer. To early 
education and breeding, therefore, he 
owed nothing. But for this deftcieiacy, 
his native sagacity, and sound judgment, and his intercourse with 
the best society, made much amends in after life. 

Enterprising in his disposition, even now, he removed to Virginia, 


in 1755, with a hope and expectation ol improving his fortune. Here 
he continued, at first, his original business of day-labor ; but exchanged 
it, afterward, for the employment of a wagoner. 

His military novitiate he served in the campaign under the unfor- 
tunate Braddock. The rank he bore is not precisely known. It 
must, however, have been humble ; for, in consequence of imputed 
contumely towards a British officer, he was brought to the halbert, 
and received the inhuman punishment of five hundred lashes ; or, 
according to his own statement, of four hundred and ninety-nine ; 
for he always asserted that the drummer, charged with the execu- 
tion of the sentence, miscounted, and jocularly added, " that George 
the Third was still indebted to him one lash." To the honor of 
Morgan, he never practically remembered this savage treatment 
during the revolutionary war. Towards the British officers, whom 
the fortune of battle placed within his power, his conduct was humane, 
mild and gentlemanly. 

After his return from this campaign, so inordinately was he addicted 
to quarrels and boxing matches, that the village of Berrystown, in 
the county of Frederick, which constituted the chief theatre of his 
pugilistic exploits, received, from this circumstance, the name of 

In these combats, although frequently overmatched in personal 
strength, he manifested the same unyielding spirit which characterized 
him afterward, in his military career. When worsted by his antago- 
nist, he would pause, for a time, to recruit his strength, and then 
return to the contest, again and again, until he rarely failed to prove 

Equally marked was his invincibility of spirit in matiirer age, when 
raised, by fortune and his own merit, to a higher and more honorable 
field of action. Defeat in battle he rarely experienced ; but when he 
did, his retreat was sullen, stern and dangerous. 

The commencement of the American revolution, found Mr. Morgan 
married and cultivating a farm, which, by industry and economy, he 
had been enabled to purchase, in the county of Frederick. 

Placed at the head of a rifle company, raised in his neighborhood, 
in 1775, he marched immediately to the American head-quarters, in 
Cambridge, near Boston. 

By order of the commander-in-chief, he soon afterward joined 
in the expedition against Quebec, and was made prisoner in the 
attempt on that fortress, where Arnold was w^ounded, and Mont . 
gomery fell. ^ 

During the assault, his daring valor and persevering gallantry 
attracted the notice and admiration of the enemy 




HE assailing column, to which he 
belonged, was led by Major Arnold. 
When that officer was wounded, 
and carried from the ground, Mor- 
gan threw himself into the lead, 
and, rushing forward, passed the 
first and second barriers. For a 
moment, victory appeared certain. 
But the fall of Montgomery closing 
the prospect, the assailants were 
repulsed, and the enterprise aban- 
doned. During his captivity, Cap- 
tain Morgan was treated with great 
kindness, and not a little distinction. 
He was repeatedly visited in con- 
finement by a British officer of rank, 
who at length made an attempt on his patriotism and virtue, by 
offering him the commission and emoluments of colonel in the 
British army, on condition that he would desert the American and 
join the royal standard. 

Morgan rejected the proposal with scorn : and requested the courtly 
and corrupt negotiator " never again to insult him in his misfortunes, 
by an offer which plainly imphed that he thought him a villain." The 
officer withdrew, and did not again recur to the subject. 

On being exchanged, Morgan immediately rejoined the American 
army, and received, by the recommendation of General Washington, 
the command of a regiment. 

In the year 1777, he was placed at the head of a select rifle corps, 
with which, in various instances, he acted on the enemy with terrible 
effect. His troops were considered the most dangerous in the Ameri- 
can service. To confront theni, in the field, was almost certain death 
to the British officers. 

On the occasion of the capture of Burgoyne at Saratoga, the exer- 
tions and services of Colonel Morgan, and his riflemen, were beyond 
all praise. Much of the glory of the achievement belonged to them. 
Yet so gross was the injustice of General Gates, that he did not even 
mention them in his official despatches. His reason for this was 
secret and dishonorable. Shortly after the surrender of Burgoyne, 
General Gates took occasion to hold with Morgan a private con- 
versation. In the course of this, he told him confidentially, that 
the main army was exceedingly dissatisfied with the conduct of 
General Washington ; that the reputation of the commander-in- 
chief was rapidly declining ; and that several officers of great worth 

morgan's reply to general gates. 


Battle-ground of Saratoga. 

threatened to resign unless a change were produced in that depart- 

Colonel Morgan, fathoming in an instant, the views of his com- 
manding officer, sternly, and with honest indignation, replied, " Sir, 
I have one favor to ask. Never, again, mention to me this hated 
subject ; under no other man but General Washington, as commander- 
in-chief, will I ever serve." 

From that moment ceased the intimacy that had previously sub- 
sisted between him and Gen. Gates. 

A few days afterward, the general gave a dinner to the principal 
officers of the British, and some of those of the American army. 
Morgan was not invited. In the course of the evening, that officer 
found it necessary to call on Gen. Gates, on official business. Being 
introduced into the dining-room, he spoke to the general, received 
his orders, and immediately withdrew, his name unannounced. Per- 
ceiving, from his dress, that he was of high rank, the British officers 
inquired his name. Being told that it was Col. Morgan, command- 
ing the rifle corps, they rose from the table, followed him into the 
yard, and introduced themselves to him, with many complimentary 
and flattering expressions, declaring that on the day of action they 
had very severely felt him in the field. 

In 1780, having obtained leave of absence from the army, on ac- 
count of the shattered condition of his health, he retired to his estate, 
in the county of Frederick, and remained there until the appointment 
of Gen. Gates to the command of the southern army. 

Being waited on by the latter, and requested to accompany him, 
he reminded him, in expressions marked by resentment, of the un- 
worthy treatment he had formerly experienced from him, in return 
for the important services, which he did not hesitate to assert, he 


liad rendered him in his operations against the army of Gen. Bur- 

Having received no acknowledgment, nor even civility, for aiding 
to decorate him with laurels in the north, he frankly declared that 
there were no considerations, except of a public nature, that could 
induce him to co-operate in his campaigns to the south. " Motives 
of public good might influence him, because his country had a claim 
on him, in any quarter, where he could promote her interest ; but 
personal attachment must not be expected to exist, where he had 
experienced nothing but neglect and injustice." 

The two oflicers parted, mutually dissatisfied : the one on account 
of past treatment, the other of the recent interview. 

N the course of a few weeks afterward, Congress 
having promoted Colonel Morgan to the rank of 
brigadier-general, by brevet, with a view to avail 
themselves of his services in the south, he pro- 
ceeded without delay to join the army of Genera] 
Gates. But he was prevented from serving any 
length of time under that officer, by his defeat 
near Camden, before his arrival ; and his being soon after superseded 
in command by General Greene. 

Soon after taking command of the southern army. General Greene 
despatched General Morgan with four hundred continentals, under 
Colonel Howard, Colonel Washington's corps of dragoons, and a 
few militia, amounting in all to about six hundred, to take position 
on the left of the British army, then lying at Winnsborough, under 
Lord Cornwallis, while he took post about seventy miles to his right. 
This judicious disposition excited his lordship's apprehensions for the 
safety of Ninety-Six and Augusta, British posts, which he considered 
as menaced by the movements of Morgan. 

Colonel Tarleton, with a strong detachment, amounting in horse 
and foot to near a thousand men, was immediately despatched by 
Cornwallis to the protection of Ninety-Six, with orders to bring 
General Morgan, if possible, to battle. To the ardent temper and 
chivalrous disposition of the British colonel, this direction was per- 
fectly congenial. Greatly superior in numbers, he advanced on 
Morgan with a menacing aspect, and compelled him, at first, to fall 
back rapidly. But the retreat of the American commander was not 
long continued. Irritated by pursuit, reinforced by a body of militia, 
and reposing great confidence in the spirit and firmness of his regular 
troops, he halted at the Cowpens, and determined to gratify his 
adversary, in his eagerness for combat. This was on the night of 
the 16th of January, 1781. Early in the morning of the succeeding 



day, Tarleton being apprised of the situation of Morgan, pressed 
towards him with a redoubled rapidity, lest, by renewing his retreat, 
he should again elude him. 

UT Morgan now had other thoughts than 
those of flight. Already had he, for several 
days, been at war with himself in relation 
to his conduct. Glorying in action, his 
spirit recoiled from the humiliation of 
retreat, and his resentment was roused by 
the insolence of pursuit. This mental con- 
flict becoming more intolerable to him than 
disaster or death, his courage triumphed 
perhaps over his prudence, and he resolved on putting every thing to 
the hazard of the sword. 

By military men, who have studied the subject, his disposition for 
battle is said to have been masterly. Two light parties of militia 
were advanced in front, with orders to feel the enemy as they 
approached ; and preserving a desultory, well-aimed fire, as they fell 
back to the front line, to range with it, and renew the conflict. The 
main body of the mihtia composed this line, with General Pickens 
at its head. At a suitable distance in the rear of the first line, a 
second was stationed composed of the continental infantry, and two 
companies of Virginia militia, commanded by Colonel Howard. 
Washington's cavalry, reinforced with a company of mounted militia, 
armed with sabres, was held in reserve. 

Posting himself, then, in the line of the regulars, he waited in 
silence the advance of the enemy. 

Tarleton coming in sight, hastily formed his disposition for battle, 
and commenced the assault. Of this conflict, the following picture 
is from the pen of General Lee : — 

" The American light parties quickly yielded, fell back, and arrayed 
with Pickens, The enemy shouting, rushed forward upon the front 
line, which retained its station, and poured in a close fire ; but con- 
tinuing to advance with the bayonet on our militia, they retired, and 
gained, with haste, the second line. Here, with part of the corps, 
Pickens took post on Howard's right, and the rest fled to their horses, 
probably with orders to remove them to a further distance, Tarle- 
ton pushed forward, and was received by his adversary with unshaken 
firmness. The contest became obstinate ; and each party, animated 
by the example of its leader, nobly contended for victory. Our line 
maintained itself so firmly, as to oblige the enemy to order up his 
reserve. The advance of M' Arthur reanimated the British line, 
which again moved forward, and, outstretching our front, endangered 



Battle of the Cowpens. 

Colonel Howard's right 

This officer instantly took measures to 
defend his flank, by directing his right company to change its front ; 
but, mistaking this order, the company fell back ; upon which the 
line began to retire, and General Morgan directed it to retreat to the 
cavalry. This manoeuvre being performed with precision, our flank 
became relieved, and the new position was assumed with prompti- 
tude. Considermg this retrograde movement the precursor of flight, 
the British line rushed on with impetuosity and disorder ; but as it 
drew near, Howard faced about, and gave it a close and murderous 
fire. Stunned by this unexpected shock, the most advanced of the 
enemy recoiled in confusion. Howard seized the happy moment, 
and followed his advantage with the bayonet. This decisive step 
gave us the day. The reserve having been brought near the line, 
shared in the destruction of our fire, and presented no rallying point 
to the fugitives. A part of the enemy's cavalry, having gained our 
rear, fell on that portion of the militia who had retired to their horses. 
Washington struck at them with his dragoons, and drove them before 
him. Thus, by a simultaneous effort, the infantry and cavalry of the 
enemy were routed. Morgan pressed home his success, and the pur- 
suit became vigorous and general. 

" In this decisive battle we lost about seventy men, of whom twelve 
only were killed. The British infantry, with the exception of the 
baggage guard, were nearly all killed or taken. One hundred, in- 
cluding ten officers, were killed ; twenty-three officers and five hun- 


dred privates were taken. The artillery, eight hundred muskets, 
two standards, thirty-five baggage-wagons, and one hundred dragoon 
horses fell into our possession." 

In this battle, so glorious to the American arms, Tarleton had 
every advantage, in point of ground, cavalry, and numbers, aided by 
two pieces of artillery. 

Soon after this brilliant exploit, frequent attacks of rheumatism 
compelled Gen. Morgan to retire from the army, and he returned to 
his seat in Frederick, Virginia, where he continued in retirement 
imtil the insurrection in the western part of Pennsylyania, in 1794, 
when he was detached by the executive of Virginia, at the head of 
the militia quota of that state, to suppress it. This done, he returned 
into the bosom of his family, where he remained until death closed 
his earthly career, in 1799. 

" There existed in the character of Gen. Morgan a singular con- 
tradiction, which is worthy of notice. 

Although in battle no man was ever more prodigal of the exposure 
of his person to danger, or manifested a more deliberate disregard 
of death, yet so strong was his love of life, at other times, that he 
has been frequently heard to declare, " he would agree to pass half 
his time as a galley-slave, rather than quit this world for another." 

The following outline of his person and character is from the pen 
of a military friend, who knew him intimately. 

" Brigadier-general Morgan was stout and active, six feet in height, 
strong, not too much encumbered with flesh, and was exactly fitted 
for the toils and pomp of war. His mind was discriminating and 
solid, but not comprehensive and combining. His manners plain 
and decorous, neither insinuating nor repulsive. His conv.sation 
grave, sententious and considerate, unadorned and uncaptivating. 
He reflected deeply, spoke little, and executed with keen perse- 
verance whatever he undertook. He was indulgent in his military 
command, preferring always the affections of his troops to that dread 
and awe which surround the rigid disciplinarian. 

" A considerable time before his death, when the pressure of in- 
firmity began to be heavy, he became seriously concerned about his 
future welfare. From that period his chief solace lay in the study 
of the Scriptures, and in devotional exercises. He died in the belief 
of the truths of Christianity, and in full communion with the Pres- 
byterian church " 



in Baltimore county, Maryland, on the 
4th of June, 1752. His ancestors 
were among the first settlers of the 
state, the grandfather, Joshua Howard, having 
emigrated from England in 1686. Here he 
obtained a tract of land, and married Miss 
Joanna O'Carroll, daughter of a gentleman 
from Ireland. His son, Cornelius, became 
affianced to Miss Ruth Eager, a descendant of 
an English landholder, under the charter of Lord Baltimore. These 
were the parents of Colonel Howard. Little of military history is 
woven with the family history, except that the grandfather fought 
under the Duke of York during the Monmouth insurrection, and 
seems to have been once or twice concerned in some Lidian 

Of Howard's early life we know nothing. He was certainly not 
educated for a particular profession, and probably was either brought 
up to farming, or without any specific prospects as to his future 
course. The breaking out of the revolution, however, roused him 
to activity ; and so eager did he become to espouse the cause of his 
country, that the committee of safety offered him a commission as 
colonel. This, however, he declined to accept, on account of its 


important duties, and' contented himself with the rank of captain. 
He raised a company in three clays, marched to the main array, and 
fought for the first time at White Plains. In September of the 
same year, Congress promoted him to the rank of major in the con- 
tinental ranks, just raised to serve during- the remainder of the 
war. In the retreat through the Jerseys, he displayed the active 
watchfulness which made him afterwards so famous in the south, 
and was much engaged in assisting the recruiting service. While 
the enemy were trying to get possession of Philadelphia, in, 1777, 
he was frequently with parties sent to harass them ; and when they 
embarked for the Chesapeake, he was serving with the main army 
under General Washington. 

He was now permitted to leave the army for sometime on account 
of the death of his father, but joined it in time to assist at the battle 
of Germantown. The following extracts from one of his letters, 
will show the part he took in this action. 

"As we [Sullivan's division] descended into the valley near Mount 
Airy, the sun arose, but was soon obscured. The British picket at 
Allen's house had two six pounders, which were several times fired 
at the advance, and killed several persons. Sullivan's division 
formed in a lane running from Allen's house towards the Schuylkill, 
our left about two hundred yards from the house. Soon after being 
formed, we had orders to move on, and advanced through a field to 
the encampment of the British light infantry, in an orchard, where 
we found them formed to receive us. A close and sharp action 
commenced, and continued fifteen or twenty minutes, when the 
British broke and retreated. ******* 

Colonel Hall, who was on foot, ordered me to bring up the com- 
pany that had crossed the road ; but finding them engaged from 
behind houses with some of the enemy, who I supposed had belonged 
to the picket, I judged it not proper to call them off, as it would 
expose our flank. I reported to Colonel Hall, who then desired me 
to let him have my horse, and said he would bring them up himself. 
Riding one way and looking another, the horse ran with him under 
a cider press, and he was so hurt that he was taken from the field. 
I was then left in command of the regiment, as Lieutenant-Colone 
Smith some time before had been detached to Fort Mifflin. The 
enemy by this time had given way, and I pushed on through their 
encampment, their tents standing; and in the road, before we came 
opposite to Chew's house, took two six pounders, which I suppose 
were those that had been with the picket; but, as the drag ropes 
had been cut and taken away, we could do nothing with them. I 
had orders to keep to the right of the road, and as we passed Chew's 


house, we were fired at from the upper windows, but received no 
injury. We passed on to the rear of several stone houses, to an 
orchard, where we were halted by Colonel Hazen.* ********* 
Whilst we were halted, the British army were formed in the School 
House Lane, directly in our front, six or seven hundred yards from 
us, but owing to the denseness of the fog, which had greatly increased 
after the commencement of the action, we could not see them. 
About the time of the attack on the house, a party of Muhlenburg's 
and Scott's brigades from the left wing, particularly the 9th Virginia 
regiment, commanded by Colonel Mathews, advanced to the eastward 
•of Chew's house, and penetrated to the market-house. The British 
general. Grey, brought from their left the 4th brigade, under Agnew, 
and three battalions of the 3d, and made an attack upon them, 
whilst they were engaged with two regiments brought up from the 
right wing. Thus assailed in front and on both wings, Mathews 
defended himself with great bravery, and did not surrender until the 
most of his officers were killed or wounded. He himself received 
several bayonet wounds." 

After this battle, Washington retired to the hilly country near 
Philadelphia, and for a considerable time neither army appeared 
willing to molest the other. Colonel Williams was with the Ameri- 
cans during this inactive period, but of the particular nature of his 
duties we are informed nothing. On one occasion, Howe left Phila- 
delphia, with the avowed purpose of giving battle ; but after manoeu- 
vring for some time, broke up his camp, returned to the city, and 
both armies resumed their inactivity until the British evacuated 
Philadelphia. Major Howard moved with the Americans in pursuit, 
and was subsequently engaged in the battle of Monmouth. 

N the spring of 1780, fourteen hun- 
dred troops, principally from Dela- 
ware and Maryland, embarked on 
the ChesapeaKe, in order to relieve 
Charleston, which was then be- 
sieged by a large British force. 
They failed to accomphsh their 
object, being unable to reach Peters- 
burg until June, nearly a mon^h 
after Charleston had capitulated. 
Major Howard accompanied these 
troops, and on the first of June was 
promoted to the rank of lieutenant-colonel of the fifth Maryland 
regiment, in the army of the United States, to take rank as such, 
from the 11th day of March, 1778. 


Colonel Howard bore an ample share in the disastrous march of 
Gates to the south, the particulars of which are given in another 
part of this volume. Diseased, emaciated, and half-starved, the 
Americans were hurried into action, with a superior veteran force, 
free from all these difficulties, and totally defeated. Few brigades 
suffered more than the two from Maryland, one of which was com- 
manded by Howard. He charged the enemy in front of him with 
the bayonet ; but the rout of the main body frustrated the benefits 
of this commencement, and almost all the brigade being dispersed, 
the colonel retreated with the wretched remnant, to Charlotte. 

The sufferings experienced by the militia after the battle of Camden, 
were dreadful , Alarm flew like a withering pestilence through the 
country, forts and villages were abandoned, companies broken up, and 
firesides deserted. The soldiers who could be kept together, often 
subsisted for several days on nothing but unripe peaches, and the 
warmest friends of liberty began to consider the south as lost to the 

In October an infantry battalion was organized, and the command 
given to Lieutenant Colonel Howard, with orders to take a position 
favorable for watching the enemy. Durmg the same month, Fergu- 
son was defeated at King's Mountain, which tended not a little to 
restore the spirits of the Americans. Little of interest then trans- 
pired, until the arrival of General Greene as commander of the 
southern army. This was in December. 

We now come to the greatest military event in the life of Colonel 
Howard — the battle of Cowpens. In the disposition for battle, the 
colonel's troops, composed of the continental infantry and two com- 
panies of the Virginia militia under Captains Triplett and Taite, 
occupied the second line behind General Pickens. When the militia 
of the latter officer retreated, Tarleton fell furiously upon Howard, 
who after an obstinate struggle, fell back and formed a new line of 
battle. Considering this retrograde movement the precursor of flight, 
the British rushed on with impetuosity and disorder ; but as they drew 
near, Howard faced about and gave them a close and murderous fire. 
Stunned by this unexpected shock, the most advanced of the enemy 
recoiled in confusion, and, seizing the happy moment, the colonel 
ordered a charge with the bayonet, w^hich decided the day. We 
give the particulars of this brilliant movement in his own words : — 
" Seeing my right flank was exposed to the enemy, I attempted to 
change the front of Wallace's company ; in doing it some confusion 
ensued, and first a part and then the whole of the company com- 
menced a retreat. The officers along the line seeing this, and sup- 
posing that orders had been given for a retreat, faced their men 



Ho-ward's decisive charge at Cowpens. 

about and moved off. Morgan, who had mostly been with the 
militia, quickly rode up to me and expressed apprehensions of the 
event ; but 1 soon removed his fears by pointing to the line, and ob- 
serving that men were not beaten who retreated in that order. He 
then ordered me to keep with the men until we came to the rising 
ground near Washington's horse ; and he rode forward to fix on the 
most proper place for us to halt and face about. In a minute we 
had a perfect line. The enemy were now very near us. Our men 
commenced a very destructive fire, which they little expected, and a 
few rounds occasioned great disorder in their ranks. While in this 
confusion I ordered a charge with the bayonet, which order was 
obeyed with great alacrity. As the line advanced, I observed their 
artillery a short distance in front, and called to Captain Ewing, who 
was near me, to take it. Captain Anderson hearing the order, also 
pushed for the same object ; and both being emulous for the prize, 
kept pace until near the first piece, when Anderson, by putting the 
end of his spontoon forward into the ground, made a long leap, which 
brought him upon the gun, and gave him the honor of the prize. 
My attention was now drawn to an altercation of some of the men, 


with an artilleryman, who appeared to make it a point of honor not 
to surrender his match. The men, provoked by his obstinacy, would 
have bayoneted him on the spot, had I not interfered, and desired 
them to spare the life of so brave a man. He then surrendered his 
match. In the pursuit, I was led to the right in among the 71st 
[British regiment] who were broken into squads ; and as I called 
to them to surrender, they laid down their arms, and the officers 
delivered up their swords. Captain Duncanson, of the 71st grena- 
diers, gave me his sword, and stood by me. Upon getting on my 
horse, I found him pulling at my saddle, and he nearly unhorsed me. 
I expressed my displeasure, and asked him what he was about. The 
explanation was, that they had orders to give no quarters, and did 
not expect any ; and as my men were coming up, he was afraid they 
would use him ill. I admitted his excuse, and put him into the care 
of a sergeant. I had messages from him some years afterwards, 
expressing his obligation for my having saved his life." 

On the occasion of the remarkable retreats of Morgan and Greene, 
subsequent to this battle, Colonel Howard was engaged in the most 
pressing and fatiguing duties. When it became necessary to march 
toward the Dan, he was left with Colonel Williams, who had been 
ordered to take post between the retreating and advancing army, to 
hover round the skirts of the latter, to seize every opportunity of 
striking in detail, and to retard the enemy by vigilance and judicious 
movements ; while Greene, with the main body, proceeded toward 
the river. 

This manoeuvre on the part of the American general, was judicious, 
and had an immediate effect. Cornwallis, finding a corps of horse and 
foot close in his front, whose strength and object were not immediately 
ascertainable, checked the rapidity of his march, to give time for 
his long-extended line to condense. Could Williams have withdrawn 
himself from between Greene and Cornwallis, he might, perhaps, by 
secretly reaching the British rear, have performed material service. 
Although his sagacity discovered the prospect, yet his sound judgment 
would not adopt a movement which might endanger the retreat of an 
army, whose safety was the object of his duty, and indispensable to 
the common cause. He adhered, therefore, to the less dazzling 
but more useful system, and placed his attention, first on the 
safety of the main body, next on that of the corps under his com- 
mand ; risking the latter only, when the security of Greene's retreat 
demanded it, and then without hesitation. Pursuing his course 
obliquely to the left, he reached an intermediate road, the British 
army being on his left and in his rear, the American in front and on 
his right. 


, HE duty severe in the day, became more 
so at night ; for numerous paroles and 
strong pickets, were necessarily fur- 
f J nished by the light troops, not only for 
their own safety, but to prevent the 
enemy from placing themselves by a 
circuitous march between Williams and 
Greene. Such a mancenvre would have 
been fatal to the American army ; and 
to render it impossible, half the troops 
w^ere alternately appropriated every 
night to duty ; so that each man during the retreat was entitled to 
but six hours repose in forty-eight. Notwithstanding this priva- 
tion, the troops were in fine spirits and good health ; delighted with 
their task, and determined to prove themselves worthy the distinction 
with which they had been honored. At the hour of three their toils 
were renewed ; for Williams always pressed forward with the utmost 
despatch in the morning, to gain such a distance in front, as would 
secure to his soldiers breakfast, their only meal during this rapid and 
hazardous retreat. 

We are unable to follow Colonel Howard through all the intricacies 
of this admirable retreat. He fully realized the expectations of his 
brother officers, and carried his detachment safely to the main camp. 
The part he took in the battle of Guilford Court House, is thus 
described in his own words : 

" The [British] guards, after they had defeated General Stephens, 
pushed into t?ie cleared ground and ran at the second regiment, 
which immediately gave way — owing I believe in a great measure to 
the want of officers, and having so many new recruits. The guards 
pursued them into our rear, where they took two pieces of artillery. 
This transaction was in a great measure concealed from the first 
regiment, by the wood, and unevenness of the ground. But my 
station being on the left of the first regiment, and next the cleared 
ground, Captain Gibson, deputy adjutant-general, rode to me, and 
informed me that a party of the enemy, inferior in numbers to us, 
were pushing through the cleared ground and into our rear, and that 
if we would face about and charge them we might take them. We 
had been for some time engaged with a party of Webster's brigade, 
though not hard pressed, and at that moment their fire had slackened. 
I rode to Gunby and gave him the information. He did not hesitate 
to order the regiment to face about, and we were immediately engaged 
with the guards. Our men gave them some well directed fires, and 
we then advanced and continued firing. At this time Gunby's horse 




was shot, and when I met him some time after he informed me that 
his horse fell upon him, and it was with difficulty he extricated him- 
self. As we advanced, I observed Washington's horse, and as their 
movements were quicker than ours, they first charged and broke the 
enemy. My men followed very quickly, and we passed through the 
guards, many of whom had been knocked down by the horse without 
being much hurt. We took some prisoners, and the whole were in 
our power. After passing through the guards, I found myself in the 
cleared ground, and saw the 71st regiment near the court-house, and 
other columns of the enemy appearing in different directions. Wash- 
ington's horse having gone off, I found it necessary to retire, which 
I did leisurely ; but many of the guards who were lying on the 
ground, and who we supposed were wounded, got up and fired at us 
as we retired." 

N the death of Lieutenant-Colonel Ford, 
who was wounded in this battle, Colonel 
Williams received command of the 2d 
regiment, in which capacity he served 
'^^ at the battle of Eutaw. Here, as usual, 

the bayonet was his principal reliance, and after 
a most stubborn conflict, in which one half of his 
men were killed or wounded, and seven officers 
"^ out of twelve disabled, he completely swept the 
field. " Nothing," says General Greene, soon 
after the battle, " could exceed the gallantry of the Maryland line. 
Colonels Williams, Howard, and all the officers exhibited acts of 
uncommon bravery ; and the free use of the bayonet by this and 
some other corps, gave us the victory." 

In this action, Howard was severely wounded, and before his 
recovery, the war was virtually ended. After the war, he married 
Miss Margaret Chew, daughter of a gentleman of Philadelphia, and 
settled with her upon his patrimonial estate. He was chosen 
governor of Maryland in 1788, and served three years. In 1794 he 
declined a commission as major-general of militia. In 1795 Wash- 
ington pressed him to accept the office of secretary of war, but he 
declined, principally on account of ill health. " Had your inclina- 
tion," writes Washington to him, " and private pursuits permitted 
you to take the office that was offered to you, it would have been a 
very pleasing circumstance to me, and I am persuaded, as I observed 
to you on a former occasion, a very acceptable one to the public. 
But the reasons which you have assigned must, however reluctantly, 
be submitted to." He was subsequently named by Washington as 
one of his brigadiers, in the event of w^ar with France. For some 


years he was a member of the Maryland legislature, and in 1796, 
was elected to the United States senate, where he remained until 
1803. After the capture of the capital by General Ross, in 1814, 
Colonel Howard was appointed to the command of a corps raised 
for the defence of Baltimore, To a suggestion that it would be 
expedient to surrender that city, he exclaimed, " I have as much 
property at stake as most persons, and I have four sons in the field ; 
but sooner would I see my sons weltering in their blood, and my 
property reduced to ashes, than so far disgrace the country." The 
defeat and death of Ross relieved the public from anxiety. 

From this time until 1821, we hear little of Colonel Howard. A 
series of domestic calamities then commenced, which probably 
tended to shorten his own days. In that year he lost his eldest 
daughter, in 1822, his eldest son, and in 1824, his wife. On the 
12th of October, 1827, after a short illness, the father and husband 
followed them to another world. 

Mr. Adams, then President, thus notices this event, in a letter to 
the family. 

" The President of the United States has received with deep con- 
cern, the communication from the family of the late Colonel Howard, 
informing him of the decease of their lamented parent. Sympathizing 
with their affliction upon the departure of their illustrious relative, 
he only shares in the sentiment of universal regret with which the 
offspring of the revolutionary age, throughout the Union, will learn 
the close of a life, eminently adorned with the honors of the cause 
of independence, and not less distinguished in the career of peaceful 
magistracy, in later time. He will take a sincere, though melan- 
choly satisfaction, in uniting with his fellow citizens in attending the 
funeral obsequies of him, whose name has been long, and will ever 
remain, enrolled among those of the benefactors of his country." 

His funeral was very large, and attended by the President and 
civil and military authorities. 

The legislature of Maryland ordered his portrait to be placed in 
the chamber of the house of delegates ; and that of South Carolina 
resolved, " That it was with feelings of profound sorrow and regret, 
that South Carolina received the melancholy intelligence of the death 
of Colonel John Eager Howard, of Maryland, and that the state of 
South Carolina can never forget the distinguished services of the 

Colonel Howard was one of the true heroes of the Revolution. 
Entering the field a young man, well educated and Avell principled, 
devoted to the cause of freedom, and full of military enthusiasm, his 
career was as brilliant as it was fortunate. Whenever he was 



called by duty to his country, he was found to be fully equal to the 
occasion ; and the revolutionary war closed leaving him still in the 
full vigor of manhood, possessed of an ample fortune, and crowned 
with honorable laurels. 

The distinctions which he subsequently enjoyed in civil life, only 
served to develope more fully his abilities and patriotic spirit ; and 
he finally passed from the scene of action, with the reverence, affec- 
tion, and applause of his grateful countrymen. 

Birth-Dlaoe of Colonel Ho-ward. 


Major James's adventure with. Captain Ardesoif. 


I AS born in Ireland, in 1732, and was the son of 
an officer who had served King William in his 
wars in Ireland against King James. This 
circumstance was the origin of the name of 
Williamsburg, which is now attached to one of 
the districts of Carolina. The elder James, 
with his family, and several of his neighbors, migrated to that district 
in 1733, made the first settlement there, and in honor of King 
William, gave his name to a village laid out on the east bank of 
Black river. The village is now called King's Tree, from a white or 
short-leafed pine, which in old royal grants was reserved for the use 
of the king ; and the name of Williamsburg has been transferred to 
the district. To it Major James, when an infant, was brought by 
his parents. His first recollections were those of a stockade fort, 
and of war between the new settlers and the natives. The former 
were often reduced to great straits in procuring the necessaries of 




life, and in defending themselves against the Indians. In this then 
frontier settlement, Major James, Mr. James Bradley, and other 
compatriots of the revolution, were trained up to defend and love 
their country. Their opportunities for acquiring liberal educations 
w^ere slender but for obtaining religious instruction were very ample. 
They were brought up under the eye and pastoral care of the Rev. 
John Rae, a Presbyterian minister, who accompanied his congrega- 
tion in their migration from Ireland to Carolina. When the revolu- 
tion commenced, in 1775, Major James had acquired a considerable 
portion both of reputation and property. He was a captain of militia 
under George the Third. Disapproving of the measures of the Bri- 
tish government, he resigned his royal commission, but was soon 
after reinstated by a popular vote. In the year 1776, he marched 
with his company to the defence of Charleston. . In the year 1779, 
he was with General Moultrie on his retreat before General Prevost, 
and commanded one hundred and twenty riflemen in the skirmish at 
Tulifinny. When Charleston was besieged, in 1780, Major James 
marched to its defence ; but Governor John Rutledge ordered him 
back to embody the country militia. The town having fallen, he 
was employed by his countrymen to wait on the conquerors, and to 
inquire of them what terms they would give. On finding that no- 
thing short of an unconditional submission and a resumption of the 
characters and duties of British subjects would be accepted, he ab- 
ruptly broke off" all negotiation ; and, rejoining his friends, formed 
the stamina of the distinguished corps known in the latter periods 
of the revolutionary war'by the name of Marion's Brigade. In the 
course of this cruel and desultory warfare. Major James was reduced 
from easy circumstances to poverty. All his moveable property was 
carried off", and every house on his plantation burnt ; but he bore up 
under these misfortunes, and devoted, not only all his possessions, 
but life itself for the good of his country. After Greene, as com- 
mander-in-chief, had superseded Marion, Major James continued to 
serve under the former, and fought with him at the battle of Eutaw. 
The corps with which he served consisted mostly of riflemen, and 
were each served with twenty-four rounds of cartridges. Many of 
them expended the whole, and most of them twenty of these in firing 
on the enemy. As they were in the habit of taking aim, their shot 
seldom failed of doing execution. Shortly after this action. Major 
James and General Marion were both elected members of the state 
legislature. Before the general had rejoined his brigade, it was un- 
expectedly attacked, and after retreating was pursued by a party of 
the British commanded by Colonel Thompson, now Count Rumford. 
In this retreat, Major James being mounted, was nearly overtaken 



• Count Rnrnford. 

by two British dragoons, but kept them from cutting him down by a 
judicious use of his pistols, and escaped by leaping a chasm in a 
bridge of twenty feet width. The dragoons did not follow. The 
major being out of their reach, rallied his men, brought them back 
to the charge, and stopped the progress of the enemy. When the 
war was nearly over, he resigned his commission, and like another 
Cincinnatus, returned to his farm and devoted the remainder of his 
days to the improvement of his property and the education of his 
children. In the year 1791 he died, with the composure and forti- 
tude of a Christian hero. 

The following characteristic anecdote of Major James is related 
in the life of General Marion. 

" After the fall of Charleston, in this year. Captain Ardesoif, of 
the British navy, arrived at Georgetown, to carry the last proclama- 
tion of Sir Henry Clinton into effect, and invited the people to come 
in and swear allegiance to King George. Many of the inhabitants 
of that district submitted to this new act of degradation. But there 
remained a portion of it, stretching from the Santee to the Pedee, 
and including the whole of the present Williamsburg, and part of 
Marion district, into which the British arms had not penetrated. 



The inhabitants of it were generally of Irish extraction ; a people 
who, at all times during the war, abhorred either submission or 
vassalage. Among them, tradition has handed down the following 
story : — A public meeting was called to deliberate upon their critical 
situation, and Major John James, who had heretofore commanrled 
them in the field, and represented them in the legislature, was selected 
as the person who should go down to Captain Ardesoif, and know 
from him whether, by his proclamation, he meant that they should 
take up arms against their countrymen. He proceeded to George- 
town, in the plain garb of a country planter, and was introduced to 
the captain, at his lodgings, a considerable distance from his ship. 
An altercation of the following nature took place. After the major 
had narrated the nature of his mission, the captain, surprised that 
such an embassy should be sent to him, answered, ' The submission 
must be unconditional.' To an inquiry, whether the inhabitants 
would not be allowed to stay at home upon their plantations, in peace 
and quiet, he replied, ' Although you have rebelled against his 
majesty, he offers you free pardon, of which you are undeserving, for 
you ought all to be hanged ; but as he offers you a free pardon, you 
must take up arms in support of his cause.' To Major James's sug- 
gesting that the people he came to represent would not submit on 
such terms, the captain, irritated at his republican language, particu- 
larly, it is supposed, at the word represent, replied, * You d — rebel, 
if you speak in such language I will immediately order you to be 
hanged up to the yard-arm.' The captain wore a sword, and Major 
James none, but perceiving what turn matters were likely to take, 
and not brooking such harsh language, he suddenly seized the chair 
on which he was seated, knocked the captain down, and making his 
retreat through the back door of the house, mounted his horse, and 
made his escape into the country." 


MONG those of our countrymen, 
who most zealously engaged in 
the cause of liberty, few sus- 
tained a rank more deservedly 
conspicuous than General Knox. 
^ He was one of those heroes, of whom it 
^ may be truly said, that he lived for his 
W'lp country. 

Born in Boston, July, 1750, his child- 
hood and youth were employed in obtaining 
the best education, that the justly celebrated schools of his native 
town afforded. In very early life he opened a bookstore, for the 


enlargement of which he soon formed an extensive correspondence 
in Europe — but little time elapsed before, at the call of his country, 
he relinquished this lucrative and increasing business. Indebted to 
no adventitious aid, his character vv^as formed by himself; the native 
and vigorous principles of his own mind made- him what he was. 
Distinguished among his associates, from the first dawn of manhood, 
for a decided predilection to martial exercises, he was, at the age of 
eighteen, selected by the young men of Boston as one of the officers 
of a company of grenadiers — a company so distinguished for its 
martial appearance, and the precision of its evolutions, that it received 
the most flattering encomiums from a British officer of high distinction. 

This early scene of his military labors, served but as a school for 
that distinguished talent which afterwards shone with lustre, in the 
most brilliant campaigns of an eight years war ; through the whole 
of which he directed the artillery with consummate skill and bravery. 

His heart was deeply engaged in the cause of freedom ; he felt it 
to be a righteous cause, and to its accomplishment yielded every 
other consideration. When Britain declared hostilities, he hesitated 
not a moment, what course he should pursue. No sordid calculation 
of interest retarded his decision. The quiet of domestic life, the fair 
prospect of increasing wealth, and even the endearing claims of 
family and friends, though urged with the most persuasive eloquence, 
had no power to divert the determined purpose of his mind. 

In the early stages of British hostility, though not in commission, 
he was not an inactive spectator. At the battle of Bunker Hill, as a 
volunteer, he was constantly exposed to danger, in reconnoitering 
the movements of the enemy, and his ardent mind was engaged with 
others in preparing those measures that were ultimately to dislodge 
the British troops, from their boasted possession of the capital of 
New England. 

Scarcely had we begun to feel the aggressions of the British arms, 
before it was perceived, that without artillery, of which we were 
then destitute, the most important objects of the war could not be 
accomplished. No resource presented itself, but the desperate expe- 
dient of procuring it from the Canadian frontier. To attempt this, 
in the agitated state of the country, through a wide extent of wilder- 
ness, was an enterprise so replete with toil and danger, that it was 
hardly expected any one would be found hardy enough to encounter 
its perils. Knox, however, saw the importance of the object — ^he 
saw his country bleeding at every pore, without the power of repelling 
her invaders — he saw the flourishing Capital of the North in the 
possession of an exulting enemy, that we were destitute of the means 
essential to their annoyance, and formed the daring and generous 


resolution of supplying the army with ordnance, however formidable 
the obstacles that might oppose him. Young, robust, and vigorous, 
supported by an undaunted spirit, and a mind ever fruitful in resources, 
he commenced his mighty undertaking, almost unattended, in the 
winter of 1775, relying solely for the execution of his object, on 
such aid as he might procure from the thinly scattered inhabitants of 
the dreary region through which he had to pass. Every obstacle of 
season, roads and climate were surmounted by determined persever- 
ance ; — and a few weeks, scarcely sufficient for a journey so remote, 
saw him return laden with ordnance and the stores of war — drawn 
in defiance of every obstacle over the frozen lakes and mountains of 
the north. Most acceptable was this offering to our defenceless 
troops, and most welcome to the commander-in-chief, who well knew 
how to appreciate a service so important. This expedition stamped 
the character of him who performed it for deeds of enterprise and 
daring. He received the most flattering testimony of approbation 
from the commander-in-chief and from Congress, and was in conse- 
quence of this important service appointed to the command of the 
artillery, of which he has thus laid the foundation, — in which com- 
mand he continued with increasing reputation through the revolu- 
tionary war. 

Among the incidents that occurred during the expedition to Canada, 
was his accidental meeting with the unfortunate Andre, whose subse- 
quent fate was so deeply deplored by every man of feeling in both 
nations. His deportment as a soldier and gentleman so far interested 
General Knox in his favor, that he often afterward expressed the 
most sincere regret that he was called by duty to act on the tribunal 
that pronounced his condemnation. 

During the continuance of the war, the corps of artillery was prin- 
cipally employed with the main body of the array, and near the person 
of the commander-in-chief, and was relied on as an essential auxiliary 
in the most important battles. 

Trenton and Princeton witnessed his enterprise and valor. At 
that critical period of our affairs, when hope had almost yielded to 
despair, and the great soul of Washington trembled for his country's 
freedom, Knox was one of those that strengthened his hand, and 
encouraged his heart. At that awful moment, when the tempest 
raged with its greatest fury, he, with Greene and other heroes, 
stood as pillars of the temple of liberty, till the fury of the storm 
was past. 

The letters of General Knox, still extant, written in the darkest 
periods of the revolution, breathed a spirit of devotedness to the 
cause in which he had embarked, and a firm reliance on the favor of 


Divine Providence ; from a perusal of these letters it is evident, that 
he never yielded to despondency, but in the most critical moments 
of the war, confidently anticipated its triumphant issue. 

In the bloody fields of Germantow^n and Monmouth, without 
derogating from the merits of others, it may be said, that during the 
whole of these hard fought battles, no officer was more distinguished 
for the discharge of the arduous duties of his command ; — in the front 
of the battle, he was seen animating his soldiers and pointing the 
thunder of their cannon. His skill and bravery were so conspicuous 
on the latter occasion, that he received the particular approbation 
of the commander-in-chief, in general orders issued by him the day 
succeeding that of the battle, in which he says, that " the enemy 
have done them the justice to acknowledge, that no artillery could 
be better served than ours." But his great exertions on that occa- 
sion, together with the extreme heat of the day, produced the most 
alarming consequences to his health. To these more important 
scenes, his services were not confined ; with a zeal devoted to our 
cause he was ever at the post of danger — and the immortal hero, 
who stands first on the list of heroes and of men, has often expressed 
his sense of these services. In every field of battle, where Washing- 
ton fought, Knox was by his side. The confidence of the commander- 
in-chief inspired by early services, was thus matured by succeeding 
events. There can be no higher testimony to his merits, than that 
during a war of so long continuance, passed almost constantly in the 
presence of Washington, he uniformly retained his confidence and 
esteem, which at their separation had ripened into friendship and 
affection. The parting interview between General Knox and his 
illustrious and beloved chief, after the evacuation of New York by 
the British, and Knox had taken possession of it at the head of a 
detachment of our army, was inexpressibly aff'ecting. The hour of 
their separation having arrived, Washington, incapable of utterance, 
grasped his hand and embraced him in silence and in tears. His 
letters, to the last moment of his life, contain the most flattering 
expressions of his unabated friendship. Honorable to himself as had 
been the career of his military services, new laurels were reserved 
for him at the siege of Yorktown. To the successful result of this 
memorable siege, the last brilliant act of our revolutionary contest, 
no officer contributed more essentially than the commander of the 
artillery. His animated exertions, his military skill, his cool and 
determined bravery in this triumphant struggle, received the unani- 
mous approbation of his brethren in arms, and he was immediately 
created major-general by Congress, at the recommendation of the 
commander-in-chief, with the concurrence of the whole army. 



West Point. 

The capture of Lord Cornwallis closed the contest at Yorktown, 
and with it his military life. Having contributed so essentially to 
the successful termination of the war, he was selected as one of the 
commissioners to adjust the terms of peace, which service he per- 
formed in conjunction with his colleagues, much to the satisfaction 
of his country. He was deputed to receive the surrender of the city 
of New York, and soon after appointed to the command of West 
Point. It was here that he was employed in the delicate and arduous 
duty of disbanding the army, and inducing a soldiery, disposed to 
turbulence by their jDrivations and sufferings, to retire to domestic 
life, and resume the peaceful character of citizens. 

It is a fact most honorable to his character, that by his countenance 
and support, he rendered the most essential aid to Washington in 
suppressing that spirit of usurpation which had been industriously 
fomented by a few unprincipled and aspiring men, whose aim was 
the subjugation of the country to a military government. No hope 
of political elevation — no flattering assurances of aggrandizement 
could tempt him to build his greatness on the ruin of his country. 

The great objects of the war being accomplished, and peace re- 
stored to our country, General Knox was early, under the confede- 
ration, appointed secretary of war by Congress, ir which office he 
was confirmed by President Washington, after the establishment of 
the federal government. The duties of this office were ultimately 
increased by having those of the navy attached to them — to the 


establishment of which his counsel and exertion eminently contri- 
buted. He differed in opinion from some other members of the 
cabinet on this most interesting subject. One of the greatest men 
whom our country has produced, has uniformly declared that he con- 
sidered America much indebted to his efforts for the creation of a 
power which has already so essentially advanced her respectability 
and fame. 

"AVING filled the office of the war department 
for eleven years, he obtained the reluctant con- 
sent of President Washington to retire, that he 
might give his attention to the claims of a nu- 
merous and increasing family. This retirement 
was in concurrence with the wishes of Mrs. 
Knox, who had accompanied him through the trying vicissitudes of 
war, shared with him its toils and perils, and who was now desirous 
of enjoying the less busy scenes of domestic life. A portion of the 
large estates of her ancestor. General Waldo, had descended to her, 
which he by subsequent purchase increased till it comprised the 
whole Waldo Patent, an extent of thirty miles square, and embracing 
a considerable part of that section of Maine which now consti- 
tutes the counties of Lincoln, Hancock and Penobscot, To these 
estates he retired from all concern in public life, honored as a soldier 
and beloved as a man, devoting much of his time to their settlement 
and improvement. He was induced repeatedly to take a share in 
the government of the state, both in the house of representatives 
and in tlie council ; in the discharge of those several duties he em- 
ployed his wisdom and experience with the greatest assiduity. 

In 1798, when the French insults and injuries towards this country 
called for resistance, he was one of those selected to command our 
armies, and to protect our liberty and honor from the expected hos- 
tilities of the French Directory : happily for our country their ser- 
vices were not required. 

Retired from the theatre of active life, he still felt a deep interest 
in the prosperity of his country. To that portion of it which he had 
chosen for his residence, his exertions were more immediately directed. 
His views, like his soul, were bold and magnificent, his ardent mind 
could not want the ordinary course of time and events ; it outstrip- 
ped the progress of natural improvement. Had he possessed a cold, 
calculating mind, he might have left behind him the most ample 
wealth ; but he would not have been more highly valued by his 
country, or more beloved by his friends. He died at Montpelicr, his 
seat in Thomaston, 25th of October, 1806, from sudden internal 
inflammation, at the age of fifty-six, from the full vigor of health. 


The great qualities of General Knox were not merely those of the 
hero and the statesman ; with these were combined those of the ele 
gant scholar and the accomplished gentleman. There have been those 
as brave and as learned, but rarely a union of such valor, with so 
much urbanity — a mind so great, yet so free from ostentation. 

Philanthropy filled his heart ; in his benevolence there was no re- 
serve — it was as diffusive as the globe, and extensive as the family 
of man. His feelings were strong and exquisitely tender. In the 
domestic circle they shone with peculiar lustre — here the husband, 
the father and the friend beamed in every smile — and if at any time 
a cloud overshadowed his own spirit, he strove to prevent its influ- 
ence from extending to those that were dear to him. He was frank, 
generous and sincere, and in his intercourse with the world uniformly 
just. His house was the seat of elegant hospitality, and his esti- 
mate of wealth, was its power of diffusing happiness. To the testi- 
mony of private friendship may be added that of less partial strangers, 
who have borne witness both to his public and private virtues. Lord 
Moira, who is now perhaps the greatest genera] that England can 
boast of, has in a late publication spoken in high terms of his mili- 
tary talents. Nor should the opinion of the Marquis Chattleleux be 
omitted. " As for General Knox," he says, " to praise him for his 
military talents alone, would be to deprive him of half the eulogium 
he merits ; a man of understanding, w^ell-informed, gay, sincere and 
honest — it is impossible to know without esteeming him, or to see 
without loving him. Thus have the Enghsh, without intention, added 
to the ornaments of the human species, by awakening talents where 
they least wished or expected." Judge Marshall also, in his life of 
Washington, thus speaks of him : " Throughout the contest of the 
revolution, this officer had continued at the head of the American 
artillery, and from being colonel of a regiment had been promoted 
to the rank of major-general. In this important station he had pre- 
served a high military character, and on the resignation of General 
Lincoln, had been appointed secretary of war. To his great ser- 
vices, and to unquestionable integrity, he was admitted to unite a 
sound understanding ; and the public judgment as well as that of the 
chief magistrate, pronounced him in all respects competent to the 
station he filled. The president was highly gratified in believing that 
his public duty comported with his private inclination, in nominating 
General Knox to the office which had been conferred on him under 
the former government." 



a high rank in the ffaternity of 
American heroes. He was born 
in Hingham, Massachusetts, 
January 23d, 0. S. 1733. His 
W early education was not auspicious to his 
;f future eminence, and his vocation was that 
A of a farmer; , till he was more than forty 
^^ years of age, though he was commissioned 
as a magistrate, and elected a representa- 
tive in the state legislature. In the year 1775, he sustained the 
office of heutenant-colonel of militia. In 1776, he was appointed by 

16 241 


the council of Massachusetts, a brigadier, and soon after a major- 
general, and he applied himself assiduously to training, and preparing 
the militia for actual service in the field, in which he displayed the 
military talents which he possessed. In October, he marched with a 
body of militia and joined the main army at New York. The com- 
mander-in-chief, from a knowledge of his character and merit, recom- 
mended him to Congress as an excellent officer, and in February, 
1777, he was by that honorable body, created a major-general on 
the continental establishment. For several months he commanded a 
division, or detachments in the main army, under Washington, and 
was in situations which required the exercise of the utmost vigilance 
and caution, as well as firmness and courage. Having the command 
of about five hundred men in an exposed situation near Bound Brook, 
through the neglect of his patroles, a large body of the enemy 
approached within two hundred yards of his quarters undiscovered ; 
the general had scarcely time to mount and leave the house before it 
was surrounded. He led off his troops, however, in the face of the 
enemy, and made good his retreat, though with the loss of about 
sixty men killed and wounded. One of his aids, with the general's 
baggage and papers, fell into the hands of the enemy, as did also 
three small pieces of artillery. In July, 1777, General Washington 
selected him to join the northern army under the command of General 
Gates, to oppose the advance of General Burgoyne. He took his 
station at Manchester, in Vermont, to receive and form the New 
England militia, as they arrived, and to order their march to the rear 
of the British army. He detached Colonel Brown with five hundred 
men, on the 13th of September, to the landing at Lake George, 
where he succeeded in surprising the enemy, and took possession of 
two hundred batteaux, liberated one hundred American prisoners, 
and captured two hundred and ninety-three of the enemy, with the 
loss of only three killed and five wounded. This enterprise was of 
the highest importance, and contributed essentially to the glorious 
event which followed. Having detached two other parties to the 
enemy's posts at Mount Independence and Skenesborough, General 
Lincoln united his remaining force with the army under General 
Gates, and was the second in command. During the sanguinary 
conflict on the 7th of October, General Lincoln commanded within 
our lines, and at one o'clock the next morning, he marched with his 
division to relieve the troops that had been engaged, and to occupy 
the battle ground, the enemy having retreated. While on this duty 
he had occasion to ride forward some distance, to reconnoitre, and to 
order some disposition of his own troops, when a party of the enemy 
made an unexpected movement, and he approached within musket 


shot before he was aware of his mistake. A whole volley of mus- 
ketry was instantly discharged at him and his aids, and he received 
a wound by which the bones of his leg were badly fractured, and he 
was obliged to be carried off the field. The wound was a formidable 
one, and the loss of his limb was for some time apprehended. He 
was for several months confined at Albany, and it became necessary 
to remove a considerable portion of the main bone before he was 
conveyed to his house at Hingham, and under this painful surgical 
operation, the writer of this being present, witnessed in him a degree 
of firmness and patience not to be exceeded. " I have known him," 
says Colonel Rice, who was a member of his military family, "during 
the most painful operation by the surgeon, while bystanders were 
frequently obliged to leave the room, entertain us with some pleasant 
anecdote, or story, and draw forth a smile from his friends." His 
wound continued several years in an ulcerated state, and by the loss 
of the bone, the limb was shortened, which occasioned lameness 
during the remainder of his life. 

General Lincoln certainly afforded very important assistance in 
the capture of Burgoyne, though it was his unfortunate lot, while in 
active duty, to be disabled before he could participate in the capitu- 
lation. Though his recovery was not complete, he repaired to head- 
quarters in the following August, and was joyfully received by the 
commander-in-chief, who well knew how to appreciate his merit. It 
was from a development of his estimable character as a man, and 
his talents as a military commander, that he was designated by Con- 
gress for the arduous duties of the chief command in the southern 
department, under innumerable embarrassments. On his arrival at 
Charleston, December, 1778, he found that he had to form an army, 
provide supplies, and to arrange the various departments, that he 
might be able to cope with an enemy consisting of experienced offi- 
cers and veteran troops. This, it is obvious, required a man of 
superior powers, indefatigable perseverance, and unconquerable 
energy. Had not these been his inherent qualities, Lincoln must 
have yielded to the formidable obstacles which opposed his progress. 
About the 28th of December, General Prevost arrived with a fleet, 
and about three thousand British troops, and took possession of 
Savannah, after routing a small party of Americans, under General 
Robert Howe. General Lincoln immediately put his troops in motion, 
and took post on the eastern side of the river, about twenty miles 
from the city ; but he was not in force to commence offensive opera- 
tions, till the last of February. In April, with the view of covering 
the upper part of Georgia, he marched to Augusta, after which Pre- 
vost, the British commander, crossed the river into Carolina, and 



Count T' ] staiDg. 

marched for Charleston. General Lincoln, therefore, recrossed the 
Savannah, and followed his route, and on his arrival near the city, 
the enemy had retired from before it during the previous night. A 
detachment of the enemy, supposed to be about six hundred men, 
\mder Lieutenant- Colonel Maitland, being posted at Stone Ferry, 
where they had erected works for their defence, General Lincoln 
resolVed to attack them, which he did on the 19th of June. The 
contest lasted one hour and twenty minutes, in which he lost one 
hundred and sixty men killed and wounded, and the enemy suffered 
about an equal loss. Their works were found to be much stronger 
than had been represented, and our artillery proving too light to 
annoy them, and the enemy receiving a reinforcement, our troops 
were obliged to retire. 

The next event of importance which occurred with our general, 
was the bold assault on Savannah, in conjunction with the Count 
D'Estaing. General Prevost had again possessed himself of that 
city, and Count D'Estaing arrived with his fleet and armament in 
the beginning of September, 1779. Having landed nearly three 


thousand French troops, General Lincoln immediately united about 
one thousand men to his force. The prospect of success was highly 
flattering-, but the enemy exerted all their efforts in strengthening 
their lines, and after the count had summoned the garrison, and 
while Prevost was about to arrange articles of capitulation, he 
received a reinforcement. It was now resolved to attempt the place 
by a regular siege, but various causes occasioned a delay of several 
days, and when it commenced, the cannonade and bombardment 
failed of producing the desired effect, and the short time allowed the 
count on our coast, was quite insuflicient for reducing the garrison 
by regular approaches. The commanders concluded, therefore, to 
make an effort on the works by assault. On the 9th of October, in 
the morning, the troops were led on by D'Estaing and Lincoln 
united, while a column led by Count Dillon missed their route in the 
darkness, and failed of the intended co-operation. Amidst a most 
appalling fire of the covered enemy, the allied troops forced the 
abbatis, and planted two standards on the parapets. But being over- 
powered at the point of attack, they were compelled to retire ; the 
French having seven hundred, the Americans two hundred and forty 
killed and wounded. The Count Pulaski, at the head of a body of 
our horse, was mortally wounded. 

/v^ rpENERAL LINCOLN next repaired to 

"*" ' ViG Charleston, and endeavored to put that 

city in a posture of defence, urgently 
requesting of Congress a reinforcement 
of regular troops, and additional sup- 
plies, which were but partially complied 
with. In February, 1780, General Sir 
Henry Clinton arrived, and landed a 
formidable force in the vicinity, and on 
the 30th of March encamped in front 
of the American lines at Charleston. 
Considering the vast superiority of the 
enemy, both in sea and land forces, it might be questioned whethei 
prudence and correct judgment would dictate an attempt to defend 
the city ; it will not be supposed, however, that the determination 
was formed without the most mature deliberation, and for reasons 
perfectly justifiable. It is well known that the general was in con- 
tinual expectation of an augmentation of strength by reinforcements. 
On the 10th of April, the enemy having made some advances, sum- 
moned the garrison to an unconditional surrender, which was promptly 
refused. A heavy and incessant cannonade was sustained on each 
gide, till the 1 1th of May, when the besiegers had completed their 

Battle Ground of Toritown. 

third parallel line, and having made a second demand of surrender, a 
capitulation was agreed on. 

It is to be lamented, that with all the judicious and vigorous efforts 
in his power. General Lincoln was requited only by the frowns of 
fortune, whereas had he been successful in his bold enterprise and 
views, he would have been crowned with unfading laurels. But not- 
withstanding a series of disappointments and unfortunate occurrences, 
he was censured by no one, nor was his judgment or merit called in 
question. He retained his popularity, and the confidence of the army, 
and was considered as a most zealous patriot, and the bravest of 

In the campaign of 1781, General Lincoln commanded a division 
under Washington, and at the siege of Yorktown he had his full 
share of the honor of that brilliant and auspicious event. The articles 
of capitulation stipulated for the same honor in favor of the surrender- 
ing army, as had been granted to the garrison of Charleston. General 
Lincoln was appointed to conduct them to the field where their arms 
were deposited, and received the customary submission. In the 
general order of the commander-in-chief the day after the capitula- 
tion, General Lincoln was among the general officers whose services 
were particularly mentioned. In October, 1781, he was chosen by 
Congress secretary of war, retaining his rank in the army. In this 


office he continued till October, 1783, when his proffered resigna- 
tion was accepted by Congress. 

Having relinquished the duties and cares of a public employment, 
he retired and devoted his attention to his farm; but in 1784, he 
was chosen one of the commissioners and agents on the part of the 
state to make and execute a treaty with the Penobscot Indians. When, 
in the year 1786-7, the authority of the state government of Massa- 
chusetts was in a manner prostrated, and the country alarmed by a 
most audacious spirit of insurrection, under the guidance of Shay and 
Day, General Lincoln was appointed by the governor and council, to 
command a detachment of militia, consisting of four or five thousand 
men, to oppose their progress, and compel them to a submission to 
the laws. He marched from Boston on the 20th of January, into 
the counties of Worcester, Hampshire, and Berkshire, where the 
insurgents had erected their standard. They were embodied in con- 
siderable force, and manifested a determined resistance, and a slight 
skirmish ensued between them and a party of militia under General 
Shepherd. Lincoln, however, conducted with such address and 
energy, that the insurgents were routed from one town to another, 
till they were completely dispersed in all directions ; and by his wise 
and prudent measures the insurrection was happily suppressed with- 
out bloodshed, excepting a few individuals who were slain under 
General Shepherd's command. 

He was a member of the convention for ratifying the federal con- 
stitution, and in the summer of 1789 he received from President 
Washington the appointment of collector of the port of Boston, which 
office he sustained till being admonished by the increasing infirmities 
of age, he requested permission to resign. 

Having, after his resignation of the office of collector, passed about 
two years in retirement and in tranquillity of mind, but experiencing 
the feebleness of age, he received a short attack of disease by which 
his honorable life was terminated on the 9th of May, 1810, aged 
seventy-seven years. 

The following tribute is on the records of the society of Cincinnati. 
"At the annual meeting in July, 1810, Major-General John Brooks 
was chosen president of the society, to supply the place of our 
venerable and much lamented president, General Benjamin Lincoln, 
who had presided over the society from the organization thereof in 
1783, to the 9th of May, 1810, the day of his decease, with the 
entire approbation of every member, and the grateful tribute of his 
surviving comrades, for his happy guidance and affectionate attentions 
during so long a period." 

While at Purysburg, on the Savannah river, a soldier named Pick- 


ling, having been detected in frequent attempts to desert, was tried 
and sentenced to be hanged. The general ordered the execution. 
The rope broke : a second was procured, which broke also: the case 
was reported to the general for directions. " Let him run," said the 
general, " I thought he looked like a scape-gallows." 

Major Garden, in his Anecdotes of the American Revolution, re- 
lates this story with some addition. It happened that, as Fielding 
was led to execution, the surgeon-general of the army passed acci- 
dentally, on his way to his quarters, which were at some distance. 
When the second rope was procured, the adjutant of the regiment, 
a stout and heavy man, assayed by every means to break it, but 
without effect. Fielding was then haltered and again turned off, 
when, to the astonishment of the bystanders, the rope untwisted, 
and he fell a second time uninjured to the ground. A cry for mercy 
was now general throughout the ranks, which occasioned Mr. Lad- 
son, aid-de-camp to General Lincoln, to gallop to head-quarters, to 
make a representation of facts, which were no sooner stated than 
an immediate pardon was granted, accompanied with an order that 
he should instantaneously be drummed, with every mark of infamy, 
out of camp, and threatened with instant death, if he ever should be 
found attempting to approach it. In the interim, the surgeon-gene- 
ral had established himself at his quarters, in a distant barn, little 
doubting but that the catastrophe was at an end, and Fickling quietly 
resting in his grave. Midnight was at hand, and he was busily en- 
gaged in writing, when hearing the approach of a footstep, he raised 
his eyes, and saw with astonishment the figure of the man who had 
in his opinion been executed, slowly and with haggard countenance 
approaching towards him. " How ! how is this ?" exclaimed the doc- 
tor, " whence come you ? what do you want with me ? were you not 
hanged this morning ?" " Yes, sir," replied the resuscitated man, " I 
am the wretch you saw going to the gallows, and who was hanged." 
" Keep your distance," said the doctor, " approach me not, till you 
say why you come here." " Simply, sir," said the supposed spectre, 
" to solicit food. I am no ghost, doctor. The rope broke twice, 
while the executioner was doing his office, and the general thought 
proper to pardon me." " If that be the case," rejoined the doctor, 
" eat and be welcome ; but I beg of you in future to have a little 
more consideration, and not intrude so unceremoniously into the 
apartment of one who had every right to suppose you an inhabitant 
of the tomb." 


,0N of Henry Laurens, was born in Charles- 
ton, in 1755. In youth he discovered that 
energy of character which distinguished him 
through life. When a lad, though laboring 
under a fever, on the cry of fire, he leaped from his 
bed, hastened to the scene of danger, and was in a 
few" minutes on the top of the exposed houses, risk- 
ing his life to arrest the progress of the flames. This is the more 
worthy of notice, for precisely in the same way, and under a similar 
but higher impulse of ardent patriotism, he lost his life in the year 

At the age of sixteen he was taken to Europe by his father, and 
there put under the best means of instruction in Geneva, and after- 
ward in London. 

He was entered a student of law at the temple in 1774, and was 
daily improving in legal knowledge till the disputes between Great 
Britain and her colonies arrested his attention. He soon found that 
the claims of the mother country struck at the root of liberty in the 
colonies, and that she perseveringly resolved to enforce these claims 
at every hazard. Fain would he have come out to join his country- 
men in arms at the commencement of the contest ; but the peremp- 



tory order of his father enjoined his continuance in England, to pro- 
secute his studies and finish his education. As a dutiful son he 
obeyed these orders ; btit as a patriot burning with desire to defend 
his country, he dismissed Coke, Littleton, and all the tribe of jurists, 
and substituted in their place Vauban, Folard, and other writers on 
war. He also availed himself of the excellent opportunities which 
London affords of acquiring practical knowledge of the manual ex- 
ercise, of tactics, and the mechanism of war. Thus instructed, as 
soon as he was a freeman of legal age, he quitted England for France, 
and by a circuitous voyage in neutral vessels, and at a considerable 
risk made his way good, in the year 1777, to Charleston. 

Independence had been declared — the American army was raised^ 
officered, and in the field. He who, by his attainments in general 
science, and particularly in the military art, deserved high rank, had 
no ordinary door left open to serve his country, but by entering in 
the lowest grade of an army abounding with officers. General 
Washington, ever attentive to merit, instantly took him into his 
family as a supernumerary aid-de-camp. Shortly after this appoint- 
ment, he had an opportunity of indulging his military ardor. He 
fought and was wounded in the battle of Germantown, October 4th, 
1777. He continued in General Washington's family in the middle 
states till the British had retreated from Philadelphia to New York, 
and was engaged in the battle of Monmouth, June 28, 1778. 

After this, the war being transferred more northwardly, he was 
indulged in attaching himself to the army in Rhode Island, where 
the most active operations were expected soon to take place. There 
he was intrusted with the command of some light troops. The bravery 
and good conduct which he displayed on this occasion was honored 
by Congress. 

N the 5th of November, 1778, they 
resolved, " that John Laurens, Esq., 
aid-de-camp to General Washington, 
be presented with a continental com- 
mission of lieutenant-colonel, in testimony of 
the sense which Congress entertain of his patri- 
otic and spirited services as a volunteer in the 
American army ; and of his brave conduct in 
several actions, particularly in that of Rhode 
Island, on the 29th of August last ; and that 
General Washington be directed, whenever an opportunity shall 
offer, to give Lieutenant-Colonel Laurens command agreeable to his 
rank." On the next day, a letter from Lieutenant-Colonel Laurens 
Was read in Congress, expressing " his gratitude for the unexpected 


honor which Congress were pleased to confer on him by the resohi- 
tion passed the day before ; and the high satisfaction it would have 
aUbrded him, could he have accepted it without injuring the rights 
of the officers in the line of the army, and doing an evident injustice 
to his colleagues in the family of the commander-in-chief — that 
having been a spectator of the convulsions occasioned in the army 
by disputes of rank, he held the tranquillity of it too dear to be 
instrumental in disturbing it, and therefore entreated Congress to 
suppress the resolve of yesterday, ordering him a commission of 
lieutenant-colonel, and to accept his sincere thanks for the intended 
honor." In this relinquishment there was a victory gained by patriot- 
ism over self-love. Lieutenant-Colonel Laurens loved military fame 
and rank ; but he loved his country more, and sacrificed the former 
to preserve the peace and promote the interests of the latter. 

N the next year the British directed their military 
operations chiefly against the most southern states. 
Lieutenant-Colonel John Laurens was induced by 
double motives to repair to Carolina. The post 
of danger was always the object of his preference. 
His native state was become the theatre of war. 
To its aid he repaired, and in May, 1779, with a 
party of light troops, had a skirmish with the British 
at Tulifinny. In endeavoring to obstruct their progress towards 
Charleston, he received a wound. This was no sooner cured than 
he rejoined the army, and was engaged in the unsuccessful attack 
on Savannah, on the 9th of October of the same year. To prepare 
for the defence of Charleston, the reduction of which was known to 
be contemplated by the British, was the next object of attention 
among the Americans. To this Colonel Laurens devoted all the 
energies of his active mind. 

In the progress of the siege, which commenced in 1780, the 
success of defensive operations became doubtful. . Councils of war 
were frequent — several of the citizens were known to wish for a 
surrender as a termination of their toils and dangers. In these 
councils and on proper occasions, Colonel Laurens advocated the 
abandonment of the front lines, and to retire to new ones, to be 
erected within the old ones, and to risk an assault. When these 
spirited measures were opposed on the suggestion that the inhabit- 
ants preferred a capitulation, he declared that he would direct his 
sword to the heart of the first citizen who would urge a capitulation 
against the opinion of the commander-in-chief. 

When his superior officers, convinced of the inefficacy of further 
resistance, were disposed to surrender on terms of capitulation, he 


yielded to the necessity of the case, and became a prisoner of war. 
This reverse of fortune opened a new door for serving his country 
in a higher hne than he ever yet had done. He w^as soon exchanged, 
and reinstated in a capacity for acting. In expediting his exchange. 
Congress had the ulterior vieAv of sending him as a special minister 
to Paris, that he might urge the necessity of a vigorous co-operation 
on the part of France with the United States against Great Britain. 
When this was proposed to Colonel Laurens, he recommended and 
urged that Colonel Alexander Hamilton should be employed in pre- 
ference to himself. Congress adhered to their first choice. 

Colonel Laurens sailed for France in the latter end of 1780 ; and 
there in conjunction with Dr. Franklin, and Count de Vergennes, and 
Marquis de Castries, arranged the plan of the campaign for 1781 ; 
which eventuated in the surrender of Lord Cornwallis, and finally 
in a termination of the war. Within six months from the day Lau- 
rens left America, he returned to it, and brought with him the con- 
certed plan of combined operations. Ardent to rejoin the army, 
he was indulged with making a verbal report of his negotiations to 
Congress ; and in three days set out to resume his place as one of 
the aids of W^ashington. The American and French army, about this 
time commenced the siege of Yorktown. In the course of it, Colonel 
Laurens, as second in command, with his fellow aid. Colonel Hamil- 
ton, assisted in storming and taking an advanced British redoubt, 
which expedited the surrender of Lord Cornwallis. The articles of 
capitulation were arranged by Colonel Laurens on behalf of the 
Americans. Charleston and a part of South Carolina still remained 
in the power of the British. Colonel Laurens deeming nothing done 
while any thing remained undone, repaired on the surrender of Lord 
Cornwallis to South Carolina, and joined the army under General 
Greene. In the course of the summer of 1782 he caught a common 
fever, and was sick in bed when an expedition was undertaken against 
a party of British, which had gone to Combahee to carry off rice. 
Laurens rose from his sick bed and joined his countrymen. While 
leading an advanced party, he received a shot, which, on the 27th of 
August, 1782, put an end to his valuable life in the twenty-seventh 
year of his age. — His many virtues have been ever since the subject 
of eulogy, and his early fall, of national lamentation. 


ENERAL LEE was an original 
genius, possessing the most 
brilliant talents, great military 
powers, and extensive intelli- 
gence and knowledge of the 
world. He was born in Wales, his family 
springing from the same parent stock with 
the Earl of Leicester. 

He may properly be called a child of 
Mars, for he was an officer when but eleven 
years old. His favorite study was the 
science of war, and his warmest wish was to become distinguished 
in it ; but though possessed of a mihtary spirit, he was ardent in the 




S-ISS :ri 

General A'bercrom'bie's Array crossing Lake George. 

pursuit of general knowledge. He acquired a competent skill in 
Greek and Latin, while his fondness for travelling made him 
acquainted with the Italian, Spanish, German, and French languages. 

In 1756, he came to America, captain of a company of grenadiers, 
and crossed Lake George with the army, and was present at the 
defeat of General Abercrombie, at Ticonderoga, where he received 
a severe wound. In 1762, he bore a colonel's commission, and 
served under Burgoyne in Portugal, where he greatly distinguished 
him.self, and received the strongest recommendations for his gallantry ; 
but his early attachment to the American colonies, evmced in his 
writings against the oppressive acts of parliament, lost him the favor 
of the ministry. Despairing of promotion, and despising a life of 
inactivity, he left his native soil and entered into the service of his 
Polish majesty, as one of his aids, with the rank of major-general. 

His rambling disposition led him to travel all over Europe, during 
the years of 1771, 1772, and part of 1773, and his warmth of temper 
drew him into several rencounters, among which was an affair of 
honor with an officer in Italy. The contest was begun with swords, 
when the general lost two of his fingers. Recourse was then had to 
pistols. His adversary was slain, and he was obliged to flee from 
the country, in order that he might avoid the unpleasant circum- 
stances which might result from this unhappy circumstance. 

General Lee appeared to be influenced by an innate principle of 
republicanism ; an attachment to these principles was implanted in 
the constitution of his mind, and he espoused the cause of America 
as a champion of her emancipation from oppression. 




Glowingwith these sentiments, he embarked for this country, and 
arrived at New York on the 10th of November, 1773. On his 
arrival, he became daily more enthusiastic in the cause of liberty, 
and travelled rapidly through the colonies, animating the people, 
both by conversation and his eloquent pen, to a determined and 
persevering resistance to British tyranny. 

His enthusiasm in favor of the rights of the colonies vv-as such, that, 
after the battle of Lexington, he accepted a major-general's commis- 
sion in the American army ; though his ambition had pointed out to 
him the post of commander-in-chief, as the object of his wishes. 
Previous to this, however, he resigned his commission in the British 
service, and relinquished his half-pay. This he did in a letter to the 
British secretary at war, in which he expressed his disapprobation 
of the oppressive measures of Parliament, declaring them to be so 
absolutely subversive of the rights and liberties of every individual 
subject, so destructive to the whole empire at large, and ultimately, 
so ruinous to his majesty's own person, dignity, and family, that he 
thought himself obliged in conscience, as a citizen, an Englishman, 
and soldier of a free state, to exert his utmost to defeat them. 

Immediately upon receiving his appointment, he accompanied 
General Washington to the camp at Cambridge, where he arrived 
July 2d, 1775, and was received with every mark of respect. 

As soon as it was discovered at Cambridge that the British General 
Clinton had left Boston, General Lee was ordered to set forward, to 
observe his manoeuvres, and prepare to meet him in any part of the 
continent he might visit. No man was better qualified, at this early 
state of the war, to penetrate the designs of the enemy, than Lee. 
Nursed in the camp, and well versed in European tactics, the soldiers 
believed him, of all other officers, the best able to face in the field 
an experienced British veteran, and lead them on to victory. 

New York was supposed to be the object of the enemy, and hither 
he hastened with all possible expedition. Immediately on his 
arrival, Lee took the most active and prompt measures to put it in a 
state of defence. He disarmed all suspected persons within the 
reach of his command, and proceeded with such rigor against the 
tories, as to give alarm at his assumption of military powers. Erom 
the tories he exacted a strong oath, and his bold measures carried 
terror wherever he appeared. 

Not long after he was appointed to the command of the southern 
department, and in his travels through the country, he received 
every testimony of high respect from the people. General Sir 
Henry Clinton and Sir Peter Parker, with a powerful fleet and army, 
attempted the reduction of Charleston, while he was in the command. 




Sir Peter Parker. 

The fleet anchored within half musket shot of the fort on Sullivan's 
Island, where Colonel Moultrie, one of the bravest and m%t intrepid 
of men, commanded. A tremendous engagement ensued on the 
28th of June, 1776, which lasted twelve hours without intermission. 
The whole British force was completely repulsed, after suffering an 
irreparable loss. 

Genera] Lee and Colonel Moultrie received the thanks of Congress 
for their signal bravery and gallantry. 

Our hero had now reached the pinnacle of his military glory ; the 
eclat of his name alone appeared to enchant and animate the most 
desponding heart. But here we pause to contemplate the humiliating 
reverse of human events. He returned to the main army in October ; 
and in marching at the head of a large detachment through the 
Jerseys, having, from a desire of retaining a separate command, 
delayed his march several days, in disobedience of express orders 



General Lee's Head-quarters at BasMngridge. 

from the commander-in-chief, he was guilty of most culpable negli- 
gence in regard to his personal security. He took up his quarters 
two or three miles from the main body, and lay for the night, 
December 13th, 1776, in a careless, exposed situation. Information 
of this being communicated to Colonel Harcourt, who commanded 
the British light horse, he proceeded immediately to the house which 
was General Lee's head-quarters at Baskingridge, fired into it, and 
obliged the general to surrender himself a prisoner. They mounted 
him on a horse in haste, without his cloak or hat, and conveyed him 
in triumph to New York. 

Lee was treated, while a prisoner, with great severity by the 
enemy, who affected to consider him as a state prisoner and deserter 
from the service of his Britannic majesty, and denied him the privi- 
leges of an American officer. General Washington promptly retaliated 
the treatment received by Lee upon the British officers in his pos- 
session. This state of things existed until the capture of Burgoyne, 
when a complete change of treatment was observed towards Lee ; 
and he was shortly afterward exchanged. 

The first military act of General Lee, after his exchange, closed 
his career in the American army. Previous to the battle of Mon- 
mouth, his character in general was respectable. From the begin- 
ning of the contest, his unremitted zeal in the cause of America 



excited and directed the military spirit of the whole continent ; and 
his conversation inculcated the principles of liberty among all ranks 
of the people. 

His important services excited the warm gratitude of many of the 
friends of America. Hence it is said that a strong party was formed 
in Congress, and by some discontented officers in the army, to raise 
Lee to the first command : and it has been suggested by many that 
General Lee's conduct at the battle of Monmouth was intended to 
effect this plan : for could the odium of the defeat have been at this 
time thrown on General Washington, there is great reason to sup- 
pose that he would have been deprived of his command. 

It is now to be seen how General Lee terminated his military 
career. In the battle of Monmouth, on the 28th of June, 1778, he 
commanded the van of the American troops, with orders from the 
commander-in-chief to attack the retreating enemy. Instead of 
obeying this order, he conducted in an unworthy manner, and greatly 
disconcerted the arrangements of the day. Washington, advancing 
to the field of battle, met him in his disorderly retreat, and accosted 
him with strong expressions of disapprobation. Lee, incapable of 
brooking even an implied indignity, and unable to restrain the warmth 
of his resentment, used improper language in return, and some irri- 
tation was excited on both sides. The following letters immediately 
after passed between Lee and the commander-in-chief. 

Camp, English Town, 7 
1st July, 1778. 5 

Sir — From the knowledge that I have of your Excellency's cha- 
racter, I must conclude that nothing but the misinformation of some 
very stupid, or misrepresentation of some very wicked person, could 
have occasioned your making use of such very singular expressions 
as you did, on my coming up to the ground where you had taken 
post : they implied that I was guilty either of disobedience of or- 
ders, want of conduct, or want of courage. Your excellency will, 
therefore, infinitely oblige me by letting me know on which of these 
three articles you ground your charge, that I may prepare for my 
justification ; which I have the happiness to be confident I can do, 
to the army, to Congress, to America, and to the world in general. 
Your Excellency must give me leave to observe, that neither your- 
self, nor those about your person, could, from your situation, be in 
the least judges of the merits or demerits of our manoeuvres ; and, 
to speak with a becoming pride, I can assert that to these manoeuvres 
the success of the day was entirely owing. I can boldly say, that, 
had we remained on the first ground — or had we advanced — or had 
the retreat been conducted in a manner different from what it was, 


this whole army, and the interests of America would have risked 
being sacrificed. I ever had, and I hope ever shall have the greatest 
respect and veneration for General Washington ; I think him en- 
dowed with many great and good qualities : but in this instance 1 
must pronounce that he has been guilty of an act of cruel injustice 
towards a man who had certainly some pretensions to the regard of 
every servant of his country ; and I think, sir, I have a right to de- 
mand some reparation for the injury committed ; and unless I can 
obtain it, I must in justice to myself, when the campaign is closed, 
which I believe will close the war, retire from a service at the head 
of which is placed a man capable of offering such injuries ; but at 
the same time, in justice to you, I must repeat that I from my soul 
believe that it was not a motion of your own breast, but instigated 
by some of those dirty earwigs who will forever insinuate themselves 
near persons in high office ; for I am really assured that, when Gene- 
ral Washington acts from himself, no man in his army will have 
reason to complain of injustice and indecorum. 

I am, sir, and I hope ever shall have reason to continue, 

Yours, &c. 

Charles Lee. 

Sis Exc'y Cfen. Washington, 

Heas-Quartebs, English Towit, ") 
28th June, 1778. 3 

Sir — I received your letter, dated through mistake the first of 
July, expressed, as T conceive, in terms highly improper. I am not 
conscious of having made use of any singular expressions at the time 
of my meeting you, as you intimate. What I recollect to have said 
was dictated by duty, and warranted by the occasion. As soon as 
circumstances will admit, you shall have an opportunity, either of 
justifying yourself to the army, to Congress, to America, and to the 
world in general, or of convincing them that you are guilty of a 
breach of orders, and of misbehavior before the enemy on the 28th 
instant, in not attacking them as you had been directed, and in 
making an unnecessary, disorderly, and shameful retreat. 
I am, sir. 

Your most obedient servant, 

G. Washington. 

A court martial, of which Lord Stirling was president, was ordered 
for his trial, and after a masterly defence by General Lee, found him 
guilty of all the charges, and sentenced him to be suspended from 
any command in the army for the term of twelve months. This 
sentence was shortly afterwards confirmed by Congress. 



When promulgated, it was like a mortal wound to the lofty, aspir- 
ing- spirit of General Lee ; pointing to his dog he exclaimed — " Oh 
that I was that animal, that I might not call man my brother." He 
became outrageous, and from that moment he was more open and 
virulent in his attack on the character of the commander-in-chief, 
and did not cease in his unwearied endeavors, both in conversation 
and writings, to lessen his reputation in the army, and the public. 
He was an active abettor of General Conway, in his calumny and 
abuse of General Washington, and they were believed to be in con- 
cert in their vile attempts to supersede his Excellency in the supreme 
command. W^ith the hope of effecting his nefarious purpose, he 
published a pamphlet replete with scurrilous imputations unfavorable 
to the military talents of the commander-in-chief, but this, with his 
other malignant allegations, was consigned to contempt. 

At length, Colonel Laurens, one of General Washington's aids, 
unable longer to suffer this gross abuse of his illustrious friend, 
demanded of Lee that satisfaction which custom has sanctioned as 
honorable. A recounter accordingly ensued, and Lee received a 
wound in his side. 

EE now finding himself abandoned by 
his friends, degraded in the eye of the 
public, and despised by the wise and 
virtuous, retired to his sequestered 
plantation in Virginia. In this spot, secluded 
from all society, he lived in a sort of hovel 
without glass windows or plastering, or even 
a decent article of house furniture ; here he 
amused himself with his books and dogs. On 
January 18th, 1780, Congress resolved that 
Major-General Lee be informed that they have no further occasion 
for his services in the army of the United States. In the autumn of 
1782, wearied with his forlorn situation, and broken spirit, he 
resorted to Philadelphia, and took lodgings in an ordinary tavern. 
He was soon seized with a disease of the lungs, and after a few days 
confinement, he terminated his mortal course, a martyr to chagrin 
and disappointment, October 2d, 1782. The last words which he 
was heard to utter, were, " stand by me, my brave grenadiers." 

General Lee was rather above the middle size, " plain in his per- 
son even to ugliness, and careless in his manners even to a degree 
of rudeness ; his nose was so remarkably aquiline that it appeared 
as a real deformity. His voice was rough, his garb ordinary, his de- 
portment morose. He was ambitious of fame, without the dignity 
to support it. In private life he sunk into the vulgarity of the 


clown." His remarkable partiality for dogs was such, that a number 
of these animals constantly followed in his train, and the ladies com- 
plained that he allowed his canine adherents to follow him into the 
parlor, and not unfrequently a favorite one roif^ht be seen on a chair 
next his elbow at table. 

In the year 1776, when our army lay at White Plains, Lee resided 
near the road which General Washington frequently passed, and he 
one day with his aids called and took dinner ; after they had de- 
parted, Lee said to his aids, " You must look me out other quarters, 
or I shall have Washington and his puppies calling till they eat me 
up." The next day he ordered his servant to write with chalk on 
the door, "No victuals cooked here to-day." The company, seeing 
the hint on the door, passed by with a smile at the oddity of the 
man. " The character of this person," says one who knew him 
well, " is full of absurdities and qualities of a most extraordinary 

While in Philadelphia, shortly before his death, the following 
ludicrous circumstance took place, which created no small diversion. 
HE late Judge Brackenridge, whose poignancy of 
satire and eccentricity of character was nearly 
a match for that of the general, had dipped his 
pen in some gall, which greatly irritated Lee's 
feelings, insomuch that he challenged him to single 
combat, which Brackenridge declined in a very 
eccentric reply. Lee, having furnished himself 
with a horsewhip, determined to chastise him ignominiously on the 
very first opportunity. Observing Brackenridge going down Market 
street, a few days after, he gave him chase, and Brackenridge took 
refuge in a public house, and barricaded the door of the room he 
entered. A number of persons collected to see the result. -Lee 
damned him, and invited him to come out and fight him like a man. 
Brackenridge replied that he did not like to be shot at, and made 
some other curious observations, which only increased Lee's irrita- 
tion and the mirth of the spectators, Lee, with the most bitter 
imprecation, ordered him to come out, when he said he would horse- 
whip him. Brackenridge rephed, that he had no occasion for a dis- 
cipline of that kind. The amusing scene lasted some time, until at 
length Lee, finding that he could accomplish no other object than 
calling forth Brackenridge's wit for the amusement of the by-standers, 

General Lee was master of a most genteel address, but was rude 
in his manners, and excessively negligent in his appearance and be- 
havior. His appetite was so whimsical that he was everywhere a 


most troublesome guest. Two or three dogs usually followed him 
wherever he went. As an officer he was brave and able, and did 
much towards disciplining the American army. With vigorous powers 
of mind, and a brilliant fancy, he was a correct and elegant classical 
scholar, and he both wrote and spoke his native language with propriety, 
force and beauty. His temper was severe ; the history of his life is 
little else than the history of disputes, quarrels and duels, in every part 
of the world. He was vindictive, avaricious, immoral, impious and 
profane. His principles, as would be expected from his character, 
were most abandoned, and he ridiculed every tenet of religion. Two 
virtues he possessed to an eminent degree, sincerity and veracity. It 
was notorious that General Lee was a man of unbounded personal 
ambition, and, conscious of his European education, and pre-eminent 
military talents and prowess, he affected a superiority over General 
Washington, and constantly aimed at the supreme command, little 
scrupulous as to the means employed to accomplish his own advance- 

The following is an extract from General Lee's will. 

" I desire most earnestly that I may not be buried in any church or 
church yard, or within a mile of any Presbyterian or Anabaptist 
meeting-house, for since I have resided in this country, I have kept 
so much bad company while living, that I do not choose to continue 
it while dead." 

Head-Quarters at Gowanus, Brooklyn, .Long Island. 


ANDER, commonly called 
Lord Stirling, was a native of 
the city of New York. He 
was considered, by many, as 
the rightful heir to the title and estate of 
an earldom in Scotland, of which country 
his father was a native ; and although 
when he went to North Britain in pursuit 
of this inheritance, he failed of obtaining 
an acknowledgment of his claim by govern 
ment, yet, among his friends and acquaint- 
ances, he received, by courtesy, the title of Lord Stirling. In his 
youth his labors were arduous in the pursuit of science, and he dis 
covered an early fondness for the study of mathematics and astronomy_ 
in which he attained great eminence. 

At the commencement of the revolutionary war, he attached him 
self to the cause of America, and entered the field against her enemies 
He was a brave, discerning, and intrepid officer. Li the battle oi\ 
Long Island, August 27th, 1776, he shared largely in the glory and 
disasters of the day. The part he bore in that engagement is 
described as follows : — " The fire towards Brooklyn gave the first 
intimation to the American right that the enemy had gained their 
rear. Lord Stirling, perceiving the danger with which he was 
threatened, and that he could only escape it by instantly retreating 



across the creek, by the Yellow Mills, not far from the cove, orders 
10 this effect were immediately given, and the more effectually to 
secure the retreat of the main body of the detachment, he deter- 
mmed to attack, in person, a corps of the British, under Lord Corn- 
wall] s, stationed at a house somewhat above the place at which he 
proposed crossing the creek. About four hundred men were chosen 
out for this purpose ; and the attack was made with great spirit. 
This small corps was brought up to the charge several times, and 
Lord Stirling stated that he was on the point of dislodging . Lord 
Cornwallis from his post ; but the force in his front increasing, and 
General Grant also advancing on his rear, the brave men he com- 
manded were no longer able to oppose the superior numbers which 
assailed them on every quarter, and those who survived were, with 
their general, made prisoners of war. This bold and well judged 
attempt, though unsuccessful, was productive of great advantages. 
It gave an opportunity to a large part of the detachment, to save 
themselves by crossing the creek. 

Immediately after his exchange, Lord Stirling joined the army 
under the immediate command of General Washington. In the 
battle of Germantown, his division, and the brigade of Generals Nash 
and Maxwell, formed the corps of reserve. At the battle of Mon- 
mouth, he commanded the left wing of the American army. At an 
important period of the engagement, he brought up a detachment of 
artillery, commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Carrington, with some 
field pieces, which played with great effect on the enemy, who were 
pressing on to the charge. These pieces, Avith the aid of several 
parties of infantry, detached for the purpose, effectually put a stop to 
their advance. The American artillery maintained their ground with 
admirable firmness, under a heavy fire from the British field artillery. 

His attachment to Washington was proved in the latter part of 
1777, by transmitting to him an account of the disaffection of 
General Conway to the commander-in-chief. In the letter, he said, 
" such wicked duplicity of conduct I shall always think it my duty 
to detect." 

He died at Albany, January 15th, 1783, aged fifty-seven years. 


[HE distinguished officer, William Davidson, lieutenant- 
colonel commandant in the North Carolina line, and 
brigadier-general in the militia of that state, was the 
youngest son of George Davidson, who removed with 
his family from Lancaster county, in Pennsylvania, in 
the year 1750, to Rowan county, in North Carolina. 

William was born in the year 1746, and was educated in a plain 
country manner, at an academy in Charlotte, the county town of 
Mecklenburgh, which adjoins Rowan. 

Like most of the enterprising youth of America, Davidson repaired 
to the standard of his country, on the commencement of the revolu- 
tionary war, and was appointed a major in one of the first regiment? 
formed by the government of North Carolina. 

In this character he marched with the North Carolina line, under 
Brigadier-General Nash, to the main army in New Jersey, where he 
served under the commander-in-chief, until the North Carolina line 
was detached in November, 1779, to reinforce the southern army 
commanded by Major-General Lincoln. Previous to this event. 
Major Davidson was promoted to the command of a regiment, with 
the rank of lieutenant-colonel commandant. 

As he passed through North Carolina, Davidson obtained permis- 
sion to visit his family, from which he had been absent nearly three 
years. The delay produced by this visit saved him from captivity 
as he found Charleston so closely invested when he arrived in its 
neighborhood, as to prevent his rej unction with his regiment. 



lOON after the surrender of General Lincoln and 
his army, the loyalists of North Carolina, not 
doubting the complete success of the royal 
forces, began to embody themselves for the 
purpose of contributing their active aid in 
the field to the subsequent operations of the 
British general. They were numerous in the 
western parts of the state, and especially in the highland settlement 
about Cross creek. Lieutenant-Colonel Davidson put himself at the 
head of some of our militia, called out to quell the expected insurrec- 
tion. He proceeded with vigor in the execution of his trust ; and in 
an engagement with a party of loyalists near Calson's mill, he was 
severely wounded ; the ball entered the umbilical region, and passed 
through his body near the kidneys. This confined him for eight 
weeks ; when recovering, he instantly took the field, having been 
recently appointed brigadier-general by the government of North 
Carolina, in the place of Brigadier-General Rutherford, taken at the 
battle of Camden. He exerted himself, in conjunction with General 
Sumpter and Colonel Davie, to interrupt the progress of Lord Corn- 
wallis in his advance towards Salisbury, and throughout that event- 
ful period, gave unceasing evidences of his zeal and firmness in 
upholding his falling country. 

After the victory obtained by Morgan at the Cowpens, Davidson 
was among the most active of his countrymen in assembling the 
militia of his district, to enable General Greene, who had joined the 
light corps under Morgan, to stop the progress of the advancing 
enemy, and was detached by General Greene, on the night of the last 
day of January, to guard the very ford selected by Lord Cornwallis 
for his passage of the Catawba river on the next morning. Davidson 
possessed himself of the post in the night, at the head of three hun- 
dred men ; and having placed a picket near the shore, stationed his 
corps at some small distance from the ford. 

General Henry Lee, from whose memoirs of the war in the southern 
department of the United States, we copy the present sketch of 
General Davidson, gives the following account of the battle : 

" A disposition was immediately made to dislodge Davidson, which 
the British General O'Hara, with the guards, effected. Lieutenant- 
Colonel Hall, led with the light company, followed by the grenadiers. 
The current was rapid, the stream waist deep, and five hundred yards 
in width. The soldiers crossed in platoons, supporting each other's 
steps. When Lieutenant-Colonel Hall reached the river, he was 
descried by the American sentinels, whose challenge and fire brought 
Davidson's corps into array. Deserted by his guide. Hall passed 


directly across, not knowing the landing place, which lay below him. 
This deviation from the common course, rendered it necessary for 
Davidson to incline to the right ; but this manoeuvre, although 
promptly performed, was not effected until the light infantry had 
gained the shore. A fierce conflict ensued, which was well supported 
by Davidson and his inferior force. The militia at length yielded, 
and Davidson, while mounting his horse to direct the retreat, was 
killed. The corps dispersed and sought safety in the woods. Our 
loss was small excepting General Davidson, an active, zealous, and 
influential officer. The British Lieutenant-Colonel Hall was also 
killed, with three of the light infantry, and thirty-six were wounded. 
Lord Cornwallis's horse was shot under him, and fell as soon as he 
got upon the shore. Leslie's horses were carried down the stream, 
and with difficulty saved ; and O'Hara's tumbled over with him into 
the water." 

The loss of Brigadier-General Davidson would always have been 
felt in any stage of the war. It was particularly detrimental in its 
effect at this period, as he was the chief instrument relied upon by 
General Greene for the assemblage of the militia ; an event all 
important at this crisis, and anxiously desired by the American 
general. The ball passed through his breast, and he instantly fell 
dead. ^ 

This promising soldier was thus lost to his country in the meridian 
of life, and at a moment when his services would have been highly 
beneficial to her. He was a man of popular manners, pleasing address, 
active and indefatigable. Enamored with the profession of arms, 
and devoted to the great cause for which he fought, his future use- 
fulness may be inferred from his former conduct. 

The Congress of the United States, in gratitude for his services, 
and in commemoration of their sense of his worth, passed a resolu- 
tion directing the erection of a monument to his memory. 




lOLONEL DAVIE was born in 
the village of Egremont, in Eng- 
land, on the 20th June, 1759. 
His father, visiting South Caro- 
lina soon after the peace of 
1763, brought with him his son ; and return- 
ing to England, confided him to the Rev. 
WilUam Richardson, his maternal uncle ; 
who, becoming much attached to his nephew, 
not only took charge of his education, but 
adopted him as his son and heir. At the 
proper age, William was sent to an academy in North Carolina, 
from whence he was, after a few years, removed to the college of 
Nassau Hall, in Princeton, New Jersey, then becoming the resort of 
most of the southern youth, under the auspices of the learned and 
respectable Dr. Witherspoon. Here he finished his education, 
graduating in the autumn of 1776, a year memorable in our military 
as well as civil annals. 

Returning home, young Davie found himself shut out for a time 
from the army, as the commissions for the troops just levied had 


been issued. He went to Salisbury, where he commenced the study 
of law. The war continuing, contrary to the expectations which 
generally prevailed when it began, Davie could no longer resist the 
wish to plant himself among the defenders of his country. Inducing 
a worthy and popular friend, rather too old for military service, to 
raise a troop of dragoons as the readiest mode of accomplishing his 
object, Davie obtained a lieutenancy in this troop. Without delay 
the captain joined the southern army, and soon afterwards returned 
home on a furlough. The command of the troop devolving on 
Lieutenant Davie, it was, at his request, annexed to the legion of 
Count Pulaski, where Captain Davie continued, until promoted by 
Major-General Lincoln to the station of brigade major of cavalry. 
In this office Davie served until the affair at Stono, devoting his 
leisure to the acquirement of professional knowledge, and rising fast 
in the esteem of the general and army. When Lincoln attempted 
to dislodge Lieutenant-Colonel Maitland from his intrenched camp 
on the Stono, Davie received a severe wound, and was removed 
from camp to the hospital in Charleston, where he was confined 
five months. 

Soon after his recovery he was empowered by the government of 
North Carolina to raise a small legionary corps, consisting of one 
troop of dragoons and two companies of mounted infantry, at the head 
of which he was placed with the rank of major. 

Quickly succeeding in completing his corps, in whose equipment 
he expended the last remaining shilling of an estate bequeathed to 
him by his uncle, he took the field, and was sedulously engaged in 
protecting the country between Charlotte and Camden from the 
enemy's predatory excursions. On the fatal 19th of August he was 
hastening with his corps to join the army, when he met our dispersed 
and flying troops. He nevertheless continued to advance toward 
the conqueror ; and by his .prudence, zeal, and vigilance, saved a few 
of our wagons, and many of our stragglers. Acquainted with the 
movement of Sumpter, and justly apprehending that he would be 
destroyed unless speedily advised of the defeat of Gates, he despatched 
immediately a courier to that officer, communicating what had hap- 
pened, performing in the midst of distress and confusion, the part of 
an experienced captain. 

So much was his conduct respected by the government of North 
Carolina, that he was in the course of September promoted to the 
rank of colonel commandant of the cavalry of the state. 

At the two gloomiest epochs of the southern war, soon after the 
fall of Charleston and the overthrow of Gates, it was the good 
fortune of Colonel Davie, to be the first to shed a gleam through the 


surrounding darkness, and give hope to the country by the brilliancy 
of his exploits. In one instance, without loss or injury on his part, 
he entirely destroyed an escort of provisions, taking forty prisoners, 
with their horses and arms. In the other, under the immediate eye 
of a large British force, which was actually beating to arms, to 
attack him, he routed a party stronger than his own, killing and 
wounding sixty of the enemy, and carrying off" with him ninety-six 
horses, and one hundred and twenty stand of arms. 

When Lord Cornwallis entered Charlotte, a small village in North 
Carolina, Colonel Davie, at the head of his detachment, threw him- 
self in his front, determined to give him a specimen of the firmness 
and gallantry, with which the inhabitants of the place were prepared 
to dispute with his lordship their native soil. 

OLONEL Tarlton's legion formed the British van, 
led by Major Hanger, the commander himself being 
confined by sickness. When that celebrated corps 
had advanced near to the centre of the village, 
where the Americans were posted, Davie poured 
into it so destructive a fire, that it immediately 
wheeled, and retired in disorder. Being rallied on 
the commons, and again led on to the charge, it received on the spot 
another fire with similar effect. 

Lord Cornwallis, witnessing the confusion thus produced among 
his choicest troops, rode up in person, and in a tone of dissatisfac- 
tion, upbraided the legion with unsoldierly conduct, reminding it of 
its former exploits and reputation. 

Pressed on his flanks by the British infantry. Colonel Davie had 
now fallen back to a new and well selected position. To dislodge 
him from this, the legion cavalry advanced on him a third time, in 
rapid charge, in full view of their commander-in-chief, but in vain. 
Another fire from the American marksmen killed several of their 
officers, wounded Major Hanger, and repulsed them again with in- 
creased confusion. 

The main body of the British being now within musket shot, the 
American leader abandoned the contest. 

It was by strokes like these that he seriously crippled and intimi- 
dated his enemy, acquired an elevated standing in the estimation of 
his friends, and served very essentially the interest of freedom. 

In this station he was found by General Greene, on assuming the 
command of the southern army ; whose attention had been occupied 
from his entrance into North Carolina, in remedying the disorder in 
the quartermaster and commissary departments. To the first, Car- 
rington had been called ; and Davie was now induced to take upon 


himself the last, much as he preferred the station he then possessed. 
At the head of this department, Colonel Davie remained throughout 
the trying campaign which followed ; contributing greatly by his 
talents, his zeal, his local knowledge, and his influence, to the main- 
tenance of the difficult and successful operations which followed. 
While before Ninety-Six, Greene, foreseeing the difficulties again to 
be encountered, in consequence of the accession of force to the 
enemy by the arrival of three regiments of infantry from Ireland, 
determined to send a confidential officer to the legislature of North 
Carolina, then in session, to represent to them his relative condition, 
and to urge their adoption of effectual measures without delay, for 
the collection of magazines of provisions and the reinforcement of 
the army. Colonel Davie was selected by Greene for this important 
mission, and immediately repaired to the seat of government, where 
he ably and faithfully exerted himself to give effect to the views of 
his general. 

The effect of the capture of Comwallis assuring the quick return 
of peace, Colonel Davie returned home, and resumed the profession 
with the practice of the law in the town of Halifax, on the Roanoke. 

He was afterward governor of North Carolina, and one of our 
ambassadors to France, at a very portentous conjuncture. 

The war in the south was ennobled by great and signal instances 
of individual and partisan valor and enterprise. Scarcely do the 
most high-drawn heroes of fiction surpass, in their daring and ex- 
traordinary achievements, many of the real ones of Pickens, Marion, 
Sumpter and Davie, who figured in the southern states during the 
conflict of the revolution. 

Colonel Davie, although younger by several years, possessed 
talents of a higher order, and was much more accomplished in edu- 
cation and manners than either of his three competitors for fame. 
For the comeliness of his person, his martial air, his excellence in 
horsemanship, and his consummate powers of field eloquence, he had 
scarcely an equal in the armies of his country. But his chief excel- 
lence lay in the magnanimity and generosity of his soul, his daring 
courage, his vigilance and address, and his unrelaxing activity and 
endurance of toil. If he was less frequently engaged in actual com- 
bat than either of his three compeers, it was not because he was 
inferior to either of them in enterprise or love of battle. His district 
being more interior, was at first less frequently invaded by British 
detachments. When, however. Lord Cornwallis ultimately advanced 
into that quarter, his scouts and foraging parties found in Colonel 
Davie and his brave associates as formidable an enemy as they had 
ever encountered. 


RANCIS MARION, colonel in the 
regular service, and brigadier-gene- 
ral in the militia of South Carolina, 
was born in the vicinity of George- 
tovi^n, in the year 1733. 
portray the meteor-like course of 
hardihood and exploit, traced by General 
Marion and his heroic followers, would 
constitute a pictui-e, rich in admiration and 
delight to the lovers of bravery and roman- 
tic adventure. Never was an officer better 
suited to the times in which he lived, and the situation in which it 

was his fortune to act. For stratagems, unlooked-for enterprises 



Marion Shipwrected- 

against the enemy, and devices for concealing his own position and 
movements, he had no rival. Never, in a single instance, was he 
overtaken in his course, or discovered in his hiding-place. Even 
some of his own party, anxious for his safety, and well acquainted 
with many of the places of his retreat, have sought for him whole 
days in his immediate neighborhood without finding him. Suddenly 
and unexpectedly, in some distant point he w^ould again appear, 
pouncing upon his enemy like the eagle upon his prey. These high 
and rare qualities conducted him repeatedly into the arms of victory, 
when the force he encountered was tenfold the number of that he 

Young Marion, at the age of sixteen, entered on board a vessel 
bound to the West Indies, with a determination to fit himself for a 
seafaring life. On his outward passage, the vessel was upset in a 
gale of wind, when the crew took to their boat without water or pro- 
visions, it being impracticable to save any of either. A dog jumped 
into the boat with the crew, and upon his flesh, eaten raw, did the 
survivors of these unfortunate men subsist for seven or eight days ; 
in which period several died of hunger. 

Among the few who escaped was young Marion. After reaching 
land, Marion relinquished his original plan of life, and engaged in the 
labors of agriculture. In this occupation he continued until 1759, 
when he became a soldier, and was appointed a lieutenant in a com- 
pany of volunteers, raised for an expedition against the Cherokee 
Indians, commanded by Captain William Moultrie, (since General 

As soon as the war broke out between the colonies and the mother 
country, Marion was called to the command of a company in the first 
corps raised by the state of South Carolina. He was soon after- 
wards promoted to a majority, and served in that rank under Colonel 


Marion Escaping from, a Drinldng Paxty. 

Moultrie, in his intrepid defence of Fort Moultrie, against the com- 
bined attack of Sir Henry Chnton and Sir Peter Parker, on the 2d 
of June, 1776. He was afterwards placed at the head of a regiment, 
as lieutenant-colonel commandant, in command of Fort Moultrie, 
which he retained until by a leap from a second story window of a 
house in Charleston, where he was hard pressed with bumpers, he 
fractured his ankle. In consequence of this accident he became 
incapable of military duty, and, fortunately for his country, escaped 
the captivity to which the garrison was, in the sequel, forced to submit. 

When Charleston fell into the enemy's hands, Lieutenant-Colonel 
Marion abandoned his state, and took shelter in North Carolina. The 
moment he recovered from the fracture of his leg, he engaged in 
preparing the means of annoying the enemy, then in the flood tide 
of prosperity. With sixteen men only, he crossed the Santee, and 
commenced that daring system of Vv^arfare which so much annoyed 
the British army. 

Colonel Peter Horry, in his life of General Marion, gives the fol- 



Marion inviting tlie British Officer to dinner. 

lowing interesting incident : — " About this time we received a flag 
from the enemy in Georgetown, South Carolina, the object of which 
was to make some arrangements about the exchange of prisoners. 
The flag, after the usual ceremony of blindfolding, was conducted 
into Marion's encampment. Having heard great talk about General 
Marion, his fancy had naturally enough sketched out for him some 
stout figure of a warrior, such as O'Hara, or Cornwallis himself, of 
martial aspect and flaming regimentals. But what was his surprise, 
when led into Marion's presence, and the bandage taken from his 
eyes, he beheld in our hero a swarthy, smoke-dried little man, with 
scarcely enough of threadbare homespun to cover his nakedness ! 
and instead of tall ranks of gay dressed soldiers, a handful of sun- 
burnt, yellow-legged militia-men ; some roasting potatoes, and some 
asleep, with their black firelocks and powder-horns lying by them on 
the logs. Having recovered a little from his surprise, he presented 
his letter to General Marion, who perused it, and soon settled every 
thing to his satisfaction. 

The officer took up his hat to retire. 


" Oh no !" said Marion, " it is now about our time of dining, 
and I hope sir, you will give us the pleasure of your company to 

At the mention of the word dinner, the British officer looked 
around him, but to his great mortification, could see no sign of a pot, 
pan, Dutch-oven, or any other cooking utensil that could raise the 
spirits of a hungry man. 

" Well, Tom," said the general to one of his men, " come give us 
our dinner." 

The dinner to which he alluded was no other than a heap of sweet 
potatoes, that were very snugly roasting under the embers, and which 
Tom, with his pine stick poker, soon hberated from their ashy con- 
finement ; pinching them every now and then with his fingers, espe- 
cially the big ones, to see whether they were well done or not. Then 
having cleansed them of the ashes, partly by blowing them with his 
breath, and partly by brushing them with the sleeve of his old cot- 
ton shirt, he piled some of the best on a large piece of bark, and 
placed them between the British officer and Marion, on the trunk of 
the fallen pine on which they sat. 

" I fear, sir," said the general, " our dinner will not prove so palata- 
ble to you as I could wish ; but it is the best we have." 

The officer, who was a well-bred man, took up one of the pota- 
toes and affected to feed, as if he had found a great dainty ; but it 
was very plain that he ate more from good manners than good appe- 

Presently he broke out into a hearty laugh. Marion looked sur- 
prised. " I beg pardon, general," said he, " but one cannot, you 
know, always command one's conceits. I was thinking how drolly 
some of my brother officers would look, if our government were to 
give them such a bill of fare as this." 

" I suppose," replied Marion, " it is not equal to their style of 

" No, indeed," quoth the officer, " and this, I imagine, is one of 
your accidental Lent dinners : a sort of han-yan. In general, no 
doubt, you live a great deal better." 

" Rather worse," answered the general, " for often we don't get 
enough of this." 

" Heavens !" rejoined the officer, " but probably what you lose in 
meal you make up in malt, though stinted in provisions, you draw 
noble payy 

"Not a cent, sir," said Marion, " not a cent.''' 

" Heavens and earth ! then you must be in a bad box. I don't see, 
general, how you can stand it." 

Marion's dinner. 277 

"Why, sir," replied Marion, with a smile of self-approbation, 
' these things depend on feeling." 

The Englishman said, " he did not believe it would be an easy- 
matter to reconcile Ms feelings to a soldier's life on General Marion's 
terms: all fighting , no pay, and no provisions hut potatoes^ 

"Why, sir," answered the general, ^' the heart is all ; and when 
that is once interested, a man can do any thing. Many a youth 
would think it hard to indent himself a slave for fourteen years. But 
let him be over head and ears in love, and with such a beauteous 
sweetheart as Rachel, and he will think no more of fourteen years' 
servitude than young Jacob did. Well, now, this is exactly my case. 
I am in love ; and my sweetheart is Liberty. Be that heavenly 
nymph my companion, and these woods shall have charms beyond 
London and Paris in slavery. To have no proud monarch driving- 
over me with his gilt coaches ; nor his host of excisemen and tax- 
gatherers insulting and robbing ; but to be my own master, my own 
prince and sovereign ; gloriously preserving my natural dignity, and 
pursuing my true happiness, planting my vineyards and eating their 
luscious fruit ; sowing my fields, and reaping the golden grain, and 
seeing millions of brothers all around me, equally free and happy as 
myself — this, sir, is what I long for." 

The officer replied, that both as a man and a Briton, he must sub- 
scribe to this as a happy state of things. 

" Sappy ^'' quoth Marion, " yes, happy indeed ; and I would rather 
fight for such blessings for my country, and feed on roots, than keep 
aloof, though wallowing in all the luxuries of Solomon. For now, 
sir, I walk the soil that gave me birth, and exult in the thought that 
I am not unworthy of it. I look upon these venerable trees around 
me, and feel that I do not dishonor them. I think of my own sacred 
rights, and rejoice that I have not basely deserted them. And when 
I look forward to the long, long ages of posterity, 1 glory in the 
thought that I am fighting their battles. The children of distant 
generations may never hear my name ; but still it gladdens my heart 
to think that I am now contending for their freedom^ with all its 
countless blessings." 

I looked at Marion as he uttered these sentiments, and fancied I 
felt as when I heard the last words of the brave De Kalb. The 
Englishman hung his honest head, and looked, I thought, as if he had 
seen the upbraiding ghosts of his illustrious countrymen, Sidney and 

On his return to Georgetown, he was asked by Colonel Watson 
why he lo.oked so serious. 

" I have cause, sir," said he, " to look so serious." 


" What ! has General Marion refused to treat ?" 

" No, sir." 

" Well, then, has old Washington defeated Sir Henry Clinton, 
and broke up our army ?" 

" No, sir, not that neither ; but worse." 

" Ah ! what can be worse ?" 

" Why, sir, I have seen an American general and his officers, 
without pay, and almost without clothes, living on roots, and drink- 
ing water ; and all for Liberty ! What chance have we against 
such men ?" 

It is said Colonel Watson was not much obliged to him for this 
speech. But the young officer was so struck with Marion's senti- 
ments, that he never rested until he threw up his commission, and 
retired from the service. 

General Marion, whose stature was diminutive, and his person 
uncommonly light, rode, when in service, one of the fleetest and 
most powerful chargers the south could produce. When in fair 
pursuit, nothing could escape him, and when retreating, nothing could 
overtake him. 

Being once nearly surrounded by a party of British dragoons, he 
was compelled, for safety, to pass into a corn-field, by leaping the 
fence. This field, marked with a considerable descent of surface, 
had been in part a marsh. Marion entered it at the upper side. 
The dragoons in chase leapt the fence also, and were but a short 
distance behind him. So completely was he now in their power, 
that his only mode of escape was to pass over the fence on the lower 
side. But here lay a difficulty which to all but himself appeared 

To drain the ground of its superfluous waters, a trench had been 
cut around this part of the field, four feet wide and of the same depth. 
Of the mud and clay removed in cutting it, a bank had been formed 
on its inner side, and on the top of this was erected the fence. The 
elevation of the whole amounted to more than seven feet perpen- 
dicular height ; a ditch four feet in width running parallel with it on 
the outside, and a foot or more of space intervening between the 
fence and the ditch. 

The dragoons, acquainted with the nature and extent of the 
obstacle, and considering it impossible for their enemy to pass it, 
pressed towards him with loud shouts of exultation and insult, and 
summoned him to surrender or perish by the sword. Regardless of 
their rudeness and empty clamor, and inflexibly determmed not to 
become their prisoner, Marion spurred his horse to the charge. The 
noble animal, as if conscious that his master's life was in danger, and 



that on his exertion depended his safety, approached the barrier in 
his finest style, and with a bound that was almost supernatural, 
cleared the fence and the ditch, and recovered himself without injury 
on the opposite side, 

Marion now facing- his pursuers, who had halted at the fence, 
unable to pass it, discharged his pistols at them without effect, and 
then wheeling his horse, and bidding them " good morning," with an 
air of triumph, dashed into an adjoining thicket, and disappeared in 
an instant. 

General Marion was a native of South Carolina ; and the imme- 
diate theatre of his exploits, was a large section of the maritime 
district of that state, around Georgetown. The peculiar hardihood 
of his constitution, and its being accommodated to a warm climate 
and a low marshy country, qualified him to endure hardships and 
submit to exposures, which, in that sickly region, few other men 
would have been competent to sustain. He continued his undivided 
efforts until the close of the war, and lived to see the United States 
enrolled among the free and independent nations of the earth. 

General Marion died on the 27th day of February 1795, at his 
residence in St. John's Parish. He was in the sixty-third year of his 
age. In the last hour he displayed the firmness of a soldier, and the 
composure of a christian. " Thank God," he said, " I can lay my 
hand on my heart and say that since I came to man's estate, I have 
never intentionally done wrong to any." 


SRAEL PUTNAM, who, through 
a regular gradation of promotion, 
became the senior major-general 
in the army of the United States, 
and next in rank to General Wash- 
ington, was born at Salem, Massachusetts, 
on the 7th day of January, 1718. 

Courage, enterprise, activity, and perse- 
verance, were the first characteristics of 
"^ ,y"^-^j^ ' his mind ; and his disposition was as frank 

and generous, as his mind was fearless and independent. Although 
he had too much suavity in his nature to commence a quarrel, he 
had too much sensibility not to feel, and too much honor not to 
resent, an intended insult. The first time he went to Boston he was 
insulted for his rusticity by a boy of twice his size and age : after 
bearing sarcasms until his patience was worn out, he challenged, 
engaged, and vanquished his unmannerly antagonist, to the great 
diversion of a crov/d of spectators. While a stripling, his ambition 
was to perform the labor of a man, and to excel in athletic diversions. 
In the year 1739, he removed from Salem to Pomfret, an inland 


fertile town in Connecticut. Having here purchased a considerable 
tract of land, he applied himself successfully to agriculture. 

Our farmer, sufficiently occupied in building a house and bam, 
felling woods, making fences, sowing grain, planting orchards, and 
taking care of his stock, had to encounter, in turn, the calamities 
occasioned by drought in summer, blast in harvest, loss of cattle in 
winter, and the desolation of his sheepfold by wolves. In one night 
he had seventy fine sheep and goats killed, besides many lambs and 
kids wounded. This havoc was committed by a she-wolf, which, 
with her annual whelps, had for several years infested the vicinity. 

This wolf at length became such an intolerable nuisance that Mr. 
Putnam entered into a combination with five of his neighbors, to 
hunt alternately until they could destroy her. Two, by rotation, 
were to be constantly in pursuit. It was known that, having lost the 
toes from one foot by a steel-trap, she made one track shorter than 
the other. By this vestige the pursuers recognized, in a light snow, 
the route of this pernicious animal. Having followed her to Con 
necticut river, and found she had turned back in a direct course 
toward Pomfret, they im.mediately returned ; and by ten o'clock the 
next morning the blood-hounds had driven her into a den, about three 
miles distant from the house of Mr. Putnam. The people soon col- 
lected, with dogs, guns, straw, fire and sulphur, to attack the com- 
mon enemy. With this apparatus several unsuccessful efforts were 
made to force her from the den. The hounds came back badly 
wounded, and refused to return. The smoke of blazing straw had 
no effect. Nor did the fumes of burnt brimstone, with which the 
cavern was filled, compel her to quit the retirement. Wearied with 
such fruitless attempts, (which had brought the time to ten o'clock 
at night,) Mr. Putnam tried once more to make his dog enter, but in 
vain ; he proposed to his negro man to go down into the cavern, and 
shoot the wolf, but the negro declined the hazardous service. Then 
it was that the master, angry at the disappointment, and declaring 
that he was ashamed to have a coward in his family, resolved him- 
self to destroy the ferocious beast, lest she should escape through 
some unknown fissure of the rock. His neighbors strongly remon- 
strated against the perilous enterprise : but he, knowing that wild 
animals were intimidated by fire, and having provided several strips 
of birch bark, the only combustible material he could obtain that 
would afford hght in this deep and darksome cave, prepared for his 
descent. Having, accordingly, divested himself of his coat and 
waistcoat, and having a long rope fastened round his legs, by which 
he might be pulled back at a concerted signal, he entered head fore- 
most, with the blazing torch in his hand. 


•HE aperture of the den, on the 
east side of a very high ledge of 
rocks, is about two feet square ; 
from thence it descends obliquely 
fifteen feet, then running horizon- 
tally about ten more, it ascends 
gradually sixteen feet towards its 
termination. The sides of this 
subterraneous cavity are com- 
posed of smooth and solid rocks, which seem to have been divided 
from each other by some former earthquake. The top and bottom 
are also of stone ; and the entrance, in winter, being covered with 
ice, is exceedingly slippery. It is in no place high enough for a man 
to raise himself upright, nor in any part more than three feet in width. 
Having groped his passage to the horizontal part of the den, the 
most terrifying darkness appeared in front of the dim circle of light 
afforded by his torch. It was silent as the house of death. None 
but monsters of the desert had ever before explored this solitary 
mansion of horror. He cautiously proceeded onward, came to the 
ascent, which he slowly mounted on his hands and knees, until he 
discovered the glaring eyeballs of the wolf, who was sitting at the 
extremity of the cavern. Startled at the sight of fire, she gnashed 
her teeth, and gave a sullen growl. As soon as he had made the 
necessary discovery, he kicked the rope as a signal for pulling him 
out. The people at the mouth of the den, who had listened with 
painful anxiety, hearing the growling of the wolf, and supposing their 
friend to be in the most imminent danger, drew him forth with such 
celerity that his shirt was stripped over his head, and his skin severely 
lacerated. After he had adjusted his clothes, and loaded his gun 
with nine buck-shot, holding a torch in one hand and the musket in 
the other, he descended the second time. When he drew nearer than 
before, the wolf, assuming a still more fierce and terrible appearance, 
howling, rolling her eyes, snapping her teeth, and dropping her head 
between her legs, was evidently in the attitude and on the point of 
springing at him. At this critical instant he levelled and fired at her 
head. Stunned with the shock, and suffocated with the smoke, he 
immediately found himself drawn out of the cave. But having re- 
freshed himself, and permitted the smoke to dissipate, he went down 
the third time. Once more he came within sight of the wolf, who, 
appearing very passive, he applied the torch to her nose, and per- 
ceiving her dead, he took hold of her ears, and then kicking the 
rope, (still tied round his legs,) the people above, with no small 
exultation dragged them both out together. 



Adventure of Putnam -witla tlie Wolf. 

But the time had now arrived, which was to turn the implements 
of husbandry into weapons of hostihty, and to exchange the hunting 
of wolves, which had ravaged the sheepfolds, for the pursuit of 
savages, who had desolated the frontiers. Putnam was about thirty- 
seven years of age, when the war between England and France broke 
out in America. In 1755 he was appointed to the command of a 
company, in the first regiment of provincials that was levied by 
Connecticut. The regiment joined the army at the opening of the 
campaign, not far distant from Crown Point. 

Soon after his arrival at camp, he became intimately acquainted 
with the famous partisan captain, afterward Major Rogers, with 
whom he was frequently associated in crossing the wilderness, recon- 
noitering the enemy's lines, gaining intelligence, and taking straggling 
prisoners, as well as in beating up the quarters, and surprising the 
advanced pickets of their army. For these operations, a corps of 
rangers was formed from the irregulars. The first time Rogers and 
Putnam were detached with a party of these light troops, it was the 
fortune of the latter to preserve with his own hand, the life of the 
former, and to cement their friendship with the blood of one of their 

The object of this expedition was to obtain an accurate knowledge 
of the position and state of the works at Crown Point. It was 
impracticable to approach with their party near enough for this pur- 
pose, without being discovered. Alone, the undertaking was suffi- 


ciently hazardous, on account of the swarms of hostile Indians who 
infested the woods. Our two partisans, however, left all their men 
at a convenient distance, with strict orders to continue concealed 
until their return. 

"AVING thus cautiously taken their 
arrangemeiits, they advanced with the 
profoundest silence in the evening ; and 
lay during the night contiguous to the 
fortress. Early in the morning they 
approached so close as to be able to give 
satisfactory information to the general 
who had sent them, on the several 
points to which their attention had been 
directed : but Captain Rogers being at 
a little distance from Captain Putnam, fortuitously met a stout 
Frenchman, who instantly seized his fusee with one hand, and with 
the other attempted to stab him, while he called to an adjacent 
guard for assistance. The guard answ^ered. Putnam, perceiving the 
imminent danger of his friend, and that no time was to be lost, or 
further alarm given by firing, ran rapidly to them while they were 
struggling, and with the butt end of his piece laid the Frenchman 
dead at his feet. The partisans, to elude pursuit, precipitated their 
flight, joined the party, and returned without loss to the encampment. 
The time for which the colonial troops engaged to serve, termi 
nated with the campaign. Putnam was reappointed, and again took 
the field in 1756. 

Few are so ignorant of war, as not to know that military adven- 
tures in the night, are always extremely liable to accidents. Captain 
Putnam, having been commanded to reconnoitre the enemy's camp 
at the Ovens near Ticonderoga, took the brave Lieutenant Robert 
Durkee as his com.panion. In attempting to execute these orders, 
he narrowly missed being taken himself in the first instance, and 
killing his friend in the second. It was customary for the British 
and provincial troops to place their fires round their camp, which 
frequently exposed them to the enemy's scouts and patroles. A con- 
trary practice, then unknown in the English army, prevailed among 
the French and Indians. The plan was much more rational : they 
kept their fires in the centre, lodged their men circularly at a distance, 
and posted their sentinels in the surrounding darkness. Our partisans 
approached the camp, and supposing the sentries were within the 
circle of fires, crept upon their hands and knees with the greatest 
possible caution, until, to their utter astonishment, they found them- 
selves in the thickest of the enemy. The sentinels, discovering 


them, fired, and slightly wounded Durkee in the thigh He and 
Putnam had no alternative. They fled. The latter, being foremost, 
and scarcely able to see his hand before him, soon plunged into a 
clay pit. Durkee, almost at the identical moment, came tumbUng 
after. Putnam, by no means pleased at finding a companion, and 
beheving him to be one of the enemy, lifted his tomahawk to give 
'the deadly blow, when Durkee, (who had followed so closely as to 
know him,) inquired whether he had escaped unhurt. Captain Put- 
nam, instantly recognizing the voice, dropped his weapon, and both, 
springiuT from the pit, made good their retreat to the neighboring 
ledges, amidst a shower of random shot. There they betook them- 
selves to a large log, by the side of which they lodged the remainder 
of the night. Before they lay down, Captain Putnam said he had a 
httle ram in his canteen, which could never be more acceptable or 
necessary ; but on examining the canteen, which hung under his 
arm, he found the enemy had pierced it with their balls, and that 
there was not a drop of liquor left. The next day he found fourteen 
bullet holes in his blanket. 

Nothing worthy of remark happened during the course of this 
campaign, but the active services of Captain Putnam on every occa- 
sion attracted the admiration of the public, and induced the legislature 
of Connecticut to promote him to a majority in 1757. 

N the winter of 1757, when Colonel 
Haviland was commandant at Fort 
Edward, the barracks adjoining to the 
northwest bastion took fire. They ex- 
tended within twelve feet of the maga- 
zine, which contained three barrels of 
powder. On its first discovery, the fire 
raged with great violence. The com- 
mandant endeavored, in vain, by dis- 
charging some pieces of heavy artillery 
against the supporters of this flight of barracks, to level them with 
the ground. Putnam arrived from the island where he was stationed 
at the moment when the blaze approached that end which was con- 
tiguous to the magazine. Instantly a vigorous attempt was made to 
extinguish the conflagration. A way was opened by the postern gate 
to the river, and the soldiers were employed in bringing water ; 
which he, having m.ounted on a ladder to the eaves of the building, 
received and threw upon the flame. It continued, notwithstanding 
their utmost efforts, to gain upon them. He stood, enveloped in 
smoke, so near the sheet of fire, that a pair of blanket mittens was 
burnt entirely from his hands. He was supplied with another pair 



Putnam, saving the Magazine. 

dipped in water. Colonel Haviland, fearing that he would perish in 
the flames, called to him to come down, but he entreated that he 
might be suffered to remain, since destruction must inevitably ensue 
if their exertions should be remitted. The gallant commandant, not 
less astonished than charmed at the boldness of his conduct, forbade 
any more effects to be carried out of the fort, animated the men to 
redoubled dihgence, and exclaimed, " if we must be blown up, we 
will go all together." At last, when the barracks were seen to be 
tumbling, Putnam descended, placed himself at the interval, and 
continued from an incessant rotation of replenished buckets to pour 
water upon the magazine. The outside planks were already con- 
sumed by the proximity of the fire, and as only one thickness of 
timber intervened, the trepidation now became general and extreme. 
Putnam, still undaunted, covered with a cloud of cinders, and scorched 
with the intensity of the heat, maintained his position until the fire 
subsided, and the danger was wholly over. He had contended for 
one hour and a half with that terrible element. His legs, his thighs, 
his arms, and his face were blistered ; and when he pulled off his 
second pair of mittens, the skin from his hands and fingers followed 
them. It was a month before he recovered. The commandant, to 
whom his merits had before endeared him, could not stifle the emo- 
tions of gratitude due to the man who had been instrumental in 
preserving the magazine, the fort, and the garrison. 

In the month of August, five hundred men were employed, under 
the orders of Majors Rogers and Putnam, to watch the motions of 
the enemy near Ticonderoga. At South Bay they separated the 



party into two equal divisions, and Rogers took a position on Wood 
creek, twelve miles distant from Putnam. 

Upon being-, some time afterwards, discovered, they formed a 
reunion, and concerted measures for returning to Fort Edward' Their 
march through the woods was in three divisions, by files ; the right 
commanded by Rogers, the left by Putnam, and the centre by Cap- 
tain D'Ell. At the moment of moving, the famous French partisan 
Molang, who had been sent with five hundred men to intercept our 
party, was not more than one mile and a half distant from them. 
Major Putnam was just emerging from the thicket, into the common 
forest, when the enemy rose, and, with discordant yells and whoops, 
commenced an attack upon the right of his division. Surprised, but 
undismayed, Putnam halted, returned the fire, and passed the word 
for the other divisions to advance for his support. D'Ell came. The 
action, though widely scattered, and principally fought between man 
and man soon grew general, and intensely warm. 

Major Putnam, perceiving 
it would be impracticable to 
cross the creek in his rear, 
determined to maintain his 
ground. Inspired by his ex- 
ample, the officers and men 
behaved with great bravery ; 
sometimes they fought collec- 
tively in open view, and 
sometimes individually under 
cover ; taking aim from be- 
hind the bodies of trees, and 
acting in a manner, indepen- 
dent of each other. For him- 
self, having discharged his 
Putnam's contest in the -wroods. fusec Several times, at lensrth 

it missed fire, while the muzzle was pressed against the breast of a 
large and well-proportioned savage. This warrior, availing himself 
of the indefensible attitude of his adversary, with a tremendous war 
whoop, sprang forward, with his lifted hatchet, and compelled him to 
surrender : and, having disarmed and bound him fast to a tree, 
returned to the battle. 

The intrepid Captains, D'Ell and Harman, who now commanded, 
were forced to give ground, for a little distance ; the savages, con- 
ceiving this to be the certain harbinger of victory, rushed impetuously 
on, with dreadful and redoubled cries. But our two partisans, col- 
lecting a handful of brave men, gave the pursuers so warm a recep 


tion as to oblige them, in turn, to retreat a little beyond the spot at 
which the action had commenced. Here they made a stand. This 
change of gromid occasioned the tree to which Putnam was tied, to 
be directly between the fire of the two parties. Human imagination 
can hardly figure to itself a more deplorable situation. The balls 
flew incessantly from either side, many struck the tree, while some 
passed through the sleeves and skirts of his coat. In this state of 
jeopardy, unable to move his body, to stir his limbs, or even to incline 
his head, he remained more than an hour. So equally balanced, and 
so obstinate was the fight ! At one moment, while the battle swerved 
in favor of the enemy, a young savage chose an odd way of dis- 
covering his humor. He found Putnam bound — he might have 
despatched him at a. single blow — but he loved better to excite the 
terrors of the prisoner, by hurling a tomahawk at his head, or rather 
it should seem his object was to see how near he could throw it with- 
out touching him. The weapon stuck in the tree a number of times, 
at a hair's breadth distance from the mark. When the Indian had 
finished his amusement, a French bas-officer, a much more inveterate 
savage by nature,' (though descended from so humane and polished a 
nation,) perceiving Putnam, came up to him, and, levelling a fusee 
within a foot of his breast, attempted to discharge it — it missed fire. 
Ineffectually did the intended victim solicit the treatment due to his 
situation, by repeating that he was a prisoner of war. The degenerate 
Frenchman did not understand the language of honor or of nature ; 
deaf to their voice, and dead to sensibility, he violently, and repeat- 
edly, pushed the muzzle of the gun against Putnam's ribs, and finally 
gave him a cruel blow on his jaw with the butt-end of his piece. 
After this dastardly deed he left him. 

At length the active intrepidity of D'Ell and Harman, seconded 
by the persevering valor of their followers, prevailed. They drove 
from the field the enemy, who left about ninety dead behind them. 
As they were retiring, Putnam was untied by the Indian who had 
made him prisoner, and whom he afterward called master. Having 
been conducted for some distance from the place of action, he was 
stripped of his coat, vest, stockings, and shoes ; loaded with as many 
of the packs of the wounded as could be piled upon him ; strongly 
pinioned, and his wrists tied as closely together as they could be 
pulled with a cord. After he had marched through no pleasant paths, 
in this painful manner, for many a tedious mile, the party (w^ho were 
excessively fatigued) halted to breathe. His hands were now immo- 
derately swelled from the tightness of the ligature, and the pain had 
become intolerable. His feet were so much scratched that the blood 
dropped fast from them. Exhausted with bearing a burden above 



his strength, and frantic with torments exquisite beyond endurance, 
he entreated the Irish interpreter to implore, as the last and only 
grace he desired of the savages, that they would knock him on the 
head and take his scalp at once, or loose his hands. A French officer, 
instantly interposing, ordered his hands to be unbound, and some of 
the packs to be taken off. By this time, the Indian who captured 
him, and had been absent with the wounded, coming up, gave him a 
pair of moccasons, and expressed great indignation at the unworthy 
treatment his prisoner had suffered. 

HAT savage chief again returned 
to the care of the wounded, and 
the Indians, about two hundred in 
number, went before the rest of 
the party to the place where the 
whole were that night to encamp. 
They took with them Major Put- 
nam, on whom, besides innumera- 
ble other outrages, they had the 
barbarity to inflict a deep wound 
with the tomahawk in the left 
cheek. His suflTerings were, in 
this place, to be consummated. A 
scene of horror, infinitely greatei 
than had ever met his eyes before, was now preparing. It was de 
termined to roast him alive. For this purpose they led him into a 
dark forest, stripped him naked, bound him to a tree, and piled dry 
brush, with other fuel, at a small distance, in a circle round him. 
They accompanied their labors, as if for his funeral dirge, with 
screams and sounds inimitable but by savage voices. They then set 
the piles on fire. A sudden shower damped the rising flame. Still 
they strove to kindle it, until, at last, the blaze ran fiercely round 
the circle. Major Putnam soon began to feel the scorching heat. 

His hands were so tied that he could move his body. He often 
shifted sides as the fire approached. This sight, at the very idea of 
which all but savages must shudder, afforded the highest diversion 
to his inhuman tormentors, who demonstrated the delirium of their 
joy by corresponding yells, dances, and gesticulations. He saw 
clearly that his final hour was inevitably come. He summoned all 
his resolution, and composed his mind as far as the circumstances 
could admit, to bid an eternal farewell to all he held most dear. To 
quit the world would scarcely have cost him a single pang ; but for 
the idea of home, but for the remembrance of domestic endearments, 
of the affectionate partner of his soul, and of their beloved offspring. 



His thought was ultimately fixed on a happier state of existence, 
beyond the tortures he was beginning to endure. The bitterness of 
death, even of that death which is accompanied with the keenest 
agonies, was in a manner past — nature, with a feeble struggle, was 
quitting its last hold on sublunary things, when a French officer 
rushed through the crowd, opened a way by scattering the burning 
brands, and unbound the victim. It was Molang himself, to whom 
a savage, unwilling to see another human sacrifice immolated, had 
run and communicated the tidings. That commandant spurned and 
severely reprimanded the barbarians whose nocturnal powaws and 
hellish orgies he suddenly ended. Putnam did not want for feeling 
or gratitude. The French commander, fearing to trust him alone 
with them, remained until he could deliver him in safety into the 
hands of his master. 

The savage approached his prisoner kindly, and seemed to treat 
him with particular affection. He offered him some hard biscuit ; 
but finding he could not chew them, on account of the blow he had 
received from the Frenchman, this more humane savage soaked some 
of the biscuit in water, and made him suck the pulp-like part. D-e- 
termined, however, not to lose his captive, (the refreshment being 
finished,) he took the moccasons from his feet, and tied them to one 
of his wrists : then directing him to lie down on his back upon the 
bare ground, he stretched one arm to its full length, and pinioned it 
fast to a young tree ; the other arm was extended and bound in the 
same manner — his legs were stretched apart and fastened to two sap- 
lings. Then a number of tall but slender poles were cut down, which, 
with some long bushes, were laid across his body from head to foot : 
on each side lay as many Indians as could conveniently find lodging, 
in order to prevent the possibility of his escape. In this disagreeable 
and painful posture he remained until morning. During this night, 
the longest and most dreary conceivable, our hero used to relate 
that he felt a ray of cheerfulness come casually across his mind, 
and could not even refrain from smiling when he reflected on this 
ludicrous group for a painter, of which he himself was the principal 

The next day he was allowed his blanliet and moccasons, and per- 
mitted to march without carrying any pack, or receiving any insult 
To allay his extreme hunger, a little bear's meat was given, which 
he sucked through his teeth. At night the party arrived at Ticon- 
deroga, and the prisoner was placed under the care of a French 
guard. The savages who had been prevented from glutting their 
diabolical thirst for blood, took other opportunity of manifesting their 
malevolence for the disappointment, by horrid grimaces and angry 


gestures ; but they were suffered no more to offer violence or personal 
indignity to him. 

After having been examined by the Marquis de Montcalm, Major 
Putnam was conducted to Montreal by a French officer, who treated 
him with the greatest indulgence and humanity. 

At this place were several prisoners. Colonel Peter Schuyler, 
remarkable for his philanthropy, generosity, and friendship, was of 
the number. No sooner had he heard of Putnam's arrival, than he 
went to the interpreter's quarters, and inquired whether he had a 
provincial major in his custody. He found Major Putnam in a 
comfortless condition — without coat, waistcoat, or hose — the remnant 
of his clothing miserably dirty and ragged — his beard long and squalid 
— his legs torn by thorns and briers — his face gashed by wounds, and 
swollen with bruises. Colonel Schuyler, irritated beyond all suffer- 
ance at such a sight, could scarcely restrain his speech within limits 
consistent with the prudence of a prisoner, and the meekness of a 
christian. Major Putnam was immediately treated according to his 
rank, clothed in a decent manner, and supplied with money by that 
liberal and sympathetic patron of the distressed. 

HE capture of Frontenac by General Bradstreet, af- 
forded occasion for an exchange of prisoners. Colonel 
Schuyler was comprehended in the cartel. A generous 
spirit can never be satisfied with imposing tasks for its 
generosity to accomplish. Apprehensive, that if it 
should be known that Putnam was a distinguished partisan, his libera- 
tion might be retarded, and knowing that there were officers, who, from 
the length of their captivity, had a claim to priority of exchange, he 
had, by his happy address, induced the governor to offer, that what- 
ever officer he might think proper to nominate should be included in 
the present cartel. With great politeness in manner, but seeming 
indifference as to object, he expressed his warmest acknowledgments 
to the governor, and said, — There is an old man here, who is a pro- 
vincial major, and wishes to be at home with his wife and children ; 
he can do no good here or any where else : I believe your Excellency 
had better keep some of the young men, who have no wife nor chil- 
dren to care for, and let the old fellow^ go home with me. This 
justifiable finesse had the desired effect. 

Shortly after, Putnam was promoted to be a lieutenant-colonel, in 
which he continued to the close of the war, ever, and on all occa- 
sions, supporting his hard earned reputation for valor and intrepidity ; 
and, at the expiration of ten years from his first receiving a commis- 
sion, after having seen as much service, endured as many hardships, 
encountered as many dangers, and acquired as many laurels as any 


officer of his rank, with great satisfaction laid aside his uniform and 
returned to the plough. 

On the 22d day of March, 1765, the stamp act received the royal 
assent. Colonel Putnam was, at this time, a member of the house 
of assembly of the state of Connecticut, and was deputed to wait on 
the then Governor Fitch on the subject. The questions of the 
governor, and answers of Putnam, will serve to indicate the spirit of 
the times. After some conversation, the governor asked Colonel 
Putnam " what he should do if the stamped paper should be sent him 
by the king's authority ?" Putnam replied, " lock it up until we shall 
visit you again." " And what will you do then ?" " We shall expect 
you to give us the key of the room in which it is deposited ; and, if 
you think fit, in order to secure yourself from blame, you may fore- 
warn us, upon our peril, not to enter the room." " And what will 
you do afterward ?" " Send it safely back again." " But if I should 
refuse admission ?" " In such case, your house will be demolished in 
five minutes." It is supposed that a report of this conversation was 
one reason why the stamp paper was never sent from New York to 

Being once, in particular, asked by a British officer, with whom he 
had formerly served, " whether he did not seriously believe that a 
well appointed British army of five thousand veterans could march 
through the whole continent of America?" he briskly replied, "no 
doubt, if they behaved civilly, and paid well for every thing they 
wanted ; but," after a moment's pause, added, " if they should 
attempt it in a hostile maniier (though the American men were out 
of the question,) the women, with their ladles and broomsticks, 
would knock them all on the head before they had got half-way 

The battle of Lexington found Putnam in the midst of his agricul- 
tural pursuits. Immediately upon learning the fatal rencontre, he left 
his plough in the middle of the field, unyoked his team, and without 
waiting to change his clothes, set off for the theatre of action. But 
finding the British retreated to Boston, and invested by a sufficient 
force to watch their movements, he came back to Connecticut, levied 
a regiment under authority of the legislature, and speedily returned 
to Cambridge. He was now promoted to be a major-general on the 
continental establishment. 

Not long after this period, the British commander-in-chief found 
the means to convey a proposal, privately, to General Putnam, that 
if he would relinquish the rebel party, he might rely upon being made 
a major-general on the British establishment, and receiving a great 
pecuniary compensation for his services. General Putnam spurned 



The Minute man. 

at the offer ; which, however, he thought prudent at that time to 
conceal from public notice. 

In the battle of Bunker's Hill he exhibited his usual intrepidity. 
He directed the men to reserve their fire till the enemxy was very 
near, reminded them of their skill, and told them to take good aim. 
They did so, and the execution was terrible. After the retreat, he 
made a stand at Winter Hill, and drove back the enemy under cover 
of their ships. When the army was organized by General Wash- 
ington, at Cambridge, Putnam was appointed to command the reserve. 
In August, 1776, he was stationed at Brooklyn, on Long Island. 
After the defeat of our army on the twenty-seventh of that month, 
he went to New York, and was very serviceable in the city and neigh- 
borhood. In October or November, he was sent to Philadelphia, to 
fortify that city. 

In January, 1777, he was directed to take post at Princeton, where 
he continued until spring. At this place, a sick prisoner, a captain, 
requested that a friend in the British army at Brunswick might be 
sent for to assist him in making his will. Putnam was perplexed. 
He had but fifty men under his command, and he did not wish to 
have his weakness known ; yet he was unwilling to deny the request. 
He, however, sent a flag of truce, and directed the officer to be 
brought in the night. In the evening lights were placed in all the 
college windows, and in every apartment of the vacant houses 
throughout the town. The officer, on his return, reported that 
General Putnam's army could not consist of less than four or five 
thousand men. 


In the spring- he was appointed to the command of a separate 
army, in the highlands of New York. One Palmer, a lieutenant in 
the tory new levies, was detected in the camp ; Governor Tryon 
reclaimed him as a British officer, threatening vengeance if he was 
not restored. General Putnam wrote the following pithy reply : — 
" Sir, Nathan Palmer, a lieutenant in your king's service, was taken 
in my camp as a spy ; he was tried as a spy ; he was condemned as 
a spy ; and shall be hanged as a spy. P, S. Afternoon. He is 

After the loss of Fort Montgomery, the commander-in-chief de- 
termined to build another fortification, and he directed Putnam to 
fix upon a spot. To him belongs the praise of having chosen West 

About the middle of winter, while General Putnam was on a 
visit to his out-post at Horse-Neck, he found Governor Tryon ad- 
vancing upon that town with a corps of fifteen hundred men. To 
oppose these General Putnam had only a picket of one hundred 
and fifty men, and two iron field-pieces, without horses or drag ropes. 
He, however, planted his cannon on the high ground by the meeting- 
house, and retarded their approach by firing several times, until per- 
ceiving the horse (supported by the infantry) about to charge, he 
ordered the picket to provide for their safety, by retiring to a swamp 
inaccessible to horse, and secured his own by plunging down the 
steep precipice at the church upon a full trot. This precipice is so 
steep where he descended, as to have artificial stairs, composed 
of nearly one hundred stone steps, for the accommodation of foot 
passengers. There the dragoons who were but a sword's length 
from him stopped short ; for the declivity was so abrupt that they 
ventured not to follow ; and before they could gain the valley by 
going round the brow of the hill in the ordinary road, he was far 
enough beyond their reach. He continued his route, unmolested, to 
Stamford ; from whence, having strengthened his picket by the 
junction of some militia, he came back again, and in turn pursued 
Governor Tryon in his retreat. As he rode down the precipice, one 
ball of the many fired at him went through his beaver ; but Governor 
Tryon, by way of compensation for spoiling his hat, sent him soon 
afterward as a present, a: complete suit of clothes. 

The campaign of 1779, which was principally spent in strength- 
ening the works at West Point, finished the military career of Put- 
nam, A paralytic affection impaired the activity of his body, and 
compelled him to quit the army. 

The remainder of the life of General Putnam was passed in quiet 
retirement with his family. He experienced few interruptions in his 



Putnam's Adventure at Horse-Neciu 

bodily health, (except the paralytic debility with which he was 
afflicted,) retained full possession of his mental faculties, and en- 
joyed the society of his friends until the 17th of May, 1790, when 
he was violently attacked with an inflammatory disease. Satisfied 
from the first that it would prove mortal, he was calm and resigned, 
and welcomed the approach of death with joy, as a messenger sent 
to call him from a life of toil to everlasting rest. On the 19th of 
May, 1790, he ended a life which had been spent in cultivating and 
defending the soil of his birth, aged seventy-two years. 

The late Rev. Dr. Dwight, President of Yale College, who knew 
General Putnam intimately, has portrayed his character faithfully in 
the following inscription, which is engraven on his tomb : 



Seniox Major Geneial in tlie armies of the United States of America 

^svio ■was born at Salem, in tlie Province of Massacliusetts, 

on tlie 7tli day of January, A. D. 1718, 

And died on the 19th day of May, A. D. 1790. 

Passenger, if thou art a Soldier, drop a tear over the dust of a 
Hero, who, ever attentive to the lives and happiness of his men, 
dared to lead where any dared to follow ; if a patriot, remem- 
ber the distinguished and gallant services rendered thy country, 
by the Pati-iot who sleeps beneath this marble ; if thou art 
honest, generous, and worthy, render a cheerful tribute of re- 
spect to a man, whose generosity was singular, whose honesty 
was proverbial ; who raised himself to universal esteem, and of- 
fices of eminent distinction, by personal worth, and a useful life. 


HIS gentleman was a citizen of 

South Carolina, and was a 

soldier from an early period of 

his life. At the commencement 

of the Revolution, he was 

;^^^B among the foremost to assert the liberties 

of his country ; and braved every danger to 

redress her wrongs. 

The scene of his brilliant operations was 
in South Carolina, and his gallant defence 
of Sullivan's Island, crowned him with immortality. 

General Lee styled the post at Sullivan's Island, a slaughter pen, 
denounced its defence, and pronouncing disgrace on the measure 
should it be persisted in, earnestly requested the president to order 
it to be evacuated. 

Happily for the nation, its destinies were at that period guided by 
that inflexible patriot, John Rutledge, who, confidently relying on 



Moultrie and his intrepid band, heroically replied to Lee, " That 
while a soldier remained alive to defend it, he would never give his 
sanction to such an order." The result proved the accuracy of his 
judgment. The following laconic note was at the same time for- 
warded to Colonel Moultrie. " General Lee wishes you to evacuate 
the fort. You will not without an order from me. I will sooner cut 
off my hand than write one." 

The defence of the pass at Sullivan's Island may be compared with 
many of the splendid achievements which Grecian eloquence has 
rendered illustrious. Impressed with prejudices as strong as Xerxes 
ever cherished against Greece, the commanders of the British forces 
approached our coast, not to conciliate, but to subdue. Exulting in 
the supposed superiority of their discipline and valor, they spoke in 
the language of authority, and would listen to no terms short of 
unconditional submission. 

On the other hand, the gallant Moultrie, commanding a corps, 
formidable only by their boldness and resolution, impatiently awaited 
their approach. He was not insensible of the insufficiency of a 
work hastily constructed, and in every part incomplete ; but con- 
sidering himself pledged to give a proof to the enemy of American 
valor, he scorned the disgrace of relinquishing the fort he had sworn 
to defend, and -notwithstanding the advice of the veteran Lee, heroi- 
cally prepared for action. 

Immediately on the approach of the British fleet to the coast, with 
the evident intention of attacking Charleston, a fort had been con- 
structed on the west end of Sullivan's Island, mounting thirty-two 
guns, thirty-twos and eighteens. Into this fort, Moultrie and his 
gallant band threw themselves. 

"^WO fifty gun ships of the enemy, four 
^ frigates, several sloops of war and bomb 
vessels, were brought to the attack, which 
was commenced about eleven o'clock, from 
one of the bomb vessels. This was soon 
followed by the guns of all the ships. 
Four of the vessels dropped anchor within 
a short distance of the fort, and opened 
their several broadsides. Three others 
were ordered to take their stations between 
the end of the island and the city, intending thereby to enfilade the 
works as well as to cut off the communication with the continent. 
But in attempting to execute this order, they became entangled 
with each other on the shoals, and one of the frigates, the Acteon, 
stuck fast. 



Defence of Fort Moultrie. 

The roar of artillery upon this little fort was incessant, and enough 
to appal even those who had been accustomed all their lives to the 
dreadful work of a cannonade. But Moultrie, with his brave Caro- 
linians, seemed to regard it only as a symphony to the grand march 
of independence. They returned the fire with an aim as true and 
deliberate as though each British ship had been placed as a target 
for prize shooting, and continued it for several hours, until their 
ammunition was expended. The cessation which this necessarily 
occasioned, produced a momentary joy in the assailants, who in 
imagination already grasped the victory which had been so hotly 
disputed — but the renewal of the blaze from the batteries soon con- 
vinced them that the struggle was not yet ended. Another gleam 
of hope brightened upon the British seamen, when, after a dreadful 
volley, the flag of Moultrie was no longer seen to wave defiance. 
They looked eagerly and anxiously towards the spot where Clinton, 
Cornwallis, and Vaughan had landed with the troops, expecting 
every moment to see them mount the parapets in triumph. But no 
British troops appeared, and a few moments afterward, the striped 
flag of the colonies once more proudly unfolded to the breeze — the 
staff had been carried away by a shot, and the flag had fallen on the 
outside of the works ; a brave sergeant of the Carolina troops, by the 
name of Jasper, jumped over the wall, seized the flag, and fastening 
it to a sponge staff", mounted the merlon amidst the thunder of the 
enemy's guns, and fixed it in a conspicuous place. 

The ships of the enemy kept up their fire with unsubdued courage 
tintil half past nine o'clock, when the darkness of the night put a 
stop to the carnage on both sides ; and the ships, with the exception 


of the Acteon, soon after slipped their cables, and dropped down 
about two miles from the scene of action. The terrible slaughter 
on board the ships bore melancholy testimony to the bravery of the 
British seamen. At one time, Captain Morris, of the Bristol, was 
almost the only man left upon the quarter-deck. He had received 
several wounds, but gallantly refused to quit the deck until no longer 
able to stand, or give an order. This ship had one hundred and 
eleven killed and wounded. The Experiment lost ninety-nine killed 
and wounded, and among the latter her commander. Captain Scott. 
The Acteon had a lieutenant killed and six men wounded, and the 
Solebay eight wounded. The whole killed and wounded, tvt'O hun- 
dred and twenty-five. Sir Peter Parker, and Lord William Camp- 
bell, who served as a volunteer, were both wounded. The Americans 
lost only ten killed and twenty-two wounded. 

It is impossible to give too much praise to Colonel Moultrie and 
his brave Carolinians, who for more than ten hours sustained the 
continued fire of upwards of one hundred guns and bombs ; from 
which in the course of that time were thrown more than ten thou- 
sand shot and shells, seven thousand of which were picked up after 
the battle was over. 

On the next day a few shot were fired from the garrison at the 
Acteon, which remained aground, and the crew returned them, but 
finding it impossible to get her off, they soon set fire to and aban- 
doned her, leaving the colors flying, the guns loaded, and all their 
ammunition and stores. In this perilous situation she was boarded 
by a small party of Americans, who fired three of the guns at their 
late owners, while the flames were bursting around them, filled their 
boats with the stores, secured the flag, and had just time to save 
themselves, when she was blown into the air. 

The fort which had been so gallantly defended by Moultrie, after- 
ward received his name. 

In 1779, he gained a victory over the British, in the battle near 
Beaufort. In 1780, he was second in command, in Charleston, 
during the siege. After the city surrendered, he was sent to Phila- 
delphia. In 1782 he returned, and was repeatedly chosen governor 
of the state of South Carolina. 

Notwithstanding his labors, his victories and public services, how- 
ever zealous, however glorious, however serviceable, the enemy had 
the audacity to make choice of him as a fit object to be gained over 
to them by bribery. His talents, his experience, and enterprise, 
would be an invaluable acquisition to the enemy, if it could be em- 
ployed on the continent ; and, if it could not be so employed, then 
the depriving the Americans of him would be of importance nearly 



as great ; it was, in the eyes of a selfish, greedy enemy highly pro- 
bable that a man who had suffered so much in his private property, 
would listen to a proposal which would enable him to go to Jamaica 
as colonel of a British regiment, the commander of which, Lord 
Charles Montague, politely offered, as a proof of his sincerity, to 
quit the command, and serve under him. " No," replied the indig- 
nant Moultrie, " not the fee-simple of that valuable island of Jamaica 
should induce me to part with my integrity." 

This incorruptible patriot died at Charleston, September 27, 1805, 
in the seventy-sixth year of his age. 

Britialx Na-val Uniform, 1778. 



native of New Hampshire, and 
was born in Londonderry, 
August 17th, 1728. From his 
early youth he had been accus- 
tomed to the alarm of war, having lived in 
that part of the country which w^as continu- 
ally subject to the incursions of the savages. 
While a child he was captured by them, 
and adopted as one of their own ; but after 
a few years was restored. 
Arrived at manhood, his manners were plain, honest, and severe ; 
excellently calculated for the benefit of society in the private walks 
of life ; and as a courageous and heroic soldier, he is entitled to a 
high rank among those who have been crowned with unfading laurels, 




and to whom a large share of glory is justly due. He was captain 
of a company of rangers in the provincial service during the French 
war in 1755. 

From the commencement of the difficulties with the mother coun- 
try, until the closing scene of the Revolution, our country found in 
General Stark one of its most resolute, independent, and persevering 
defenders. The first call of his country found him ready. When 
the report of Lexington battle reached him, he was engaged at work 
in his saw-mill : fired with indignation and a martial spirit, he imme- 
diately seized his musket, and with a band of heroes proceeded to 
Cambridge. The morning after his arrival, he received a colonel's 
commission, and availing himself of his own popularity, and the 
enthusiasm of the day, in two hours he enlisted eight hundred men. 
On the memorable 17th of June, at Breed's Hill, Colonel Stark, at 
the head of his back-woodsmen of New Hampshire, poured on the 
enemy that deadly fire from a sure aim, which efl^ected such remark- 
able destruction in their ranks, and compelled them twice to retreat. 
During the whole of this dreadful conflict, Colonel Stark evinced 
that consummate bravery and intrepid zeal, which entitle his name 
to perpetual remembrance. 

His spirit pervaded his native state, and excited them to the most 
patriotic efforts. The British General Burgoyne, in one of his letters 
observes, — *' That the Hampshire Grants, almost unknown in the 
last war, now abound in the most active and most rebellious race on 
the continent, and hang like a gathering storm upon my left." 

Distinct from his efforts in rallying the energies of his native state, 
he obtained great credit in the active operations of the field. At that 
gloomy period of the revolution, the retreat of Washington through 
New Jersey in 1776, when the saviour of our country, apparently 
deserted of Heaven and by his country, with the few gallant spirits 
who gathered the closer around him in that dark hour, precipitately 
fled before an imperious and victorious enemy — it was on this occa- 
sion, that the persevering valor of Stark enrolled him among the firm 
and resolute defenders of their country ; and, with them, entitles him 
to her unceasing gratitude. 

But as he fearlessly shared with Washington the dark and gloomy 
night of defeat, so also he participated with him in the joy of a bright 
morning of victory and hope. In the successful enterprise against 
Trenton, Stark, then a colonel, acted a conspicuous part, and covered 
himself with glory. General Wilkinson, in his Memoirs, says, — " I 
must not withhold due praise from the dauntless Stark, who dealt 
death wherever he found resistance, and broke down all opposition 
before him." 

burgoyne's invasion. 305 

Soon after this affair, Colonel Stark, from some supposed injustice 
toward him on the part of Congress, quitted the continental service, 
and returned to New Hampshire. 

When he was urged by the government of New Hampshire to take 
the command of their militia, he refused, unless he should be left at 
liberty to serve or not, under a continental officer, as he should judge 
proper. It was not a time for debate, and it was known that the 
militia would follow wherever Stark would lead. The assembly 
therefore invested him with a separate command, and gave him orders 
to " repair to Charlestown, on Connecticut river ; there to consult 
with a committee of ttie New Hampshire Grants, respecting his future 
operations, and the supply of his men with provisions ; to take com- 
mand of the militia, and march into the Grants ; to act in conjunction 
with the troops of the new state, or any other of the states, or of the 
United States, or separately, as should appear expedient to him ; for 
the protection of the people, and the annoyance of the enemy." 

GREEABLY to his orders. Stark proceeded 
in a few days to Charlestown ; his men very 
readily followed ; and as fast as they arrived, 
he sent them forward to join the troops of 
Vermont under Colonel Warner, who had 
taken his situation at Manchester. At that 
place he joined Warner with about eight 
hundred men from New Hampshire, and 
found another body of men from Vermont, 
who put themselves under his command ; and he w-as at the head of 
fourteen hundred men. Most of them had been in the two former 
campaigns, and well officered ; and were in every respect a body of 
very good troops. Schuyler repeatedly urged Stark to join the troops 
under his command ; but he declined complying. He was led to this 
conduct not only by the reasons which have been mentioned, but by 
a difference of opinion as to the best method of opposing Burgoyne. 
Schuyler wished to collect all the American troops in the front, to 
prevent Burgoyne from marching on to Albany. Stark was of opinion 
that the surest way to check Burgoyne was to have a body of men 
on his rear, ready to fall upon him in that quarter, whenever a favor- 
able opportunity should present. The New England militia had not 
formed a high opinion of Schuyler, as a general ; and Stark meant 
to keep himself in a situation, in which he might embrace any favor- 
able opportunity for action, either in conjunction with him, or other- 
wise ; and with that view intended to hang on the rear of the British 
troops, and embrace the first opportunity which should present, to 
make an attack upon that quarter. But Stark assured Schuyler that 



he would join in any measure necessaiy to promote the pubhc good, 
but wished to avoid any thing that was not consistent with his own 
honor ; and if it was thought necessary, he would march to his camp. 
He wrote particularly, that he would lay aside all priA"ate resentment, 
when it appeared in opposition to the public good. But in the midst 
of these protestations, he was watching for an opportunity to discover 
his courage and patriotism, by falling upon some part of Burgoyne's 

While the American army was thus assuming a more respectable 
appearance, General Burgoyne was making very slow advances 
towards Albany. From the twenty-eighth of July to the fifteenth of 
August, the British army was continually employed in bringing for- 
ward batteaux, provisions, and ammunition from Fort George to the 
first navigable part of Hudson's river ; a distance of not more than 
eighteen miles. The labor was excessive ; the Europeans were but 
little acquainted with the methods of performing it to advantage, and 
the effect was in no degree equivalent to the expense of labor and 
time. With all the efforts that Burgoyne could make, encumbered 
with his artillery and baggage, his labors were inadequate to the pur- 
pose of supplying the army with provisions for its daily consumption, 
and the establishment of the necessary magazines. And after his 
utmost exertions for fifteen days, there were not above four days' 
provisions in the store, nor above ten batteaux in Hudson river. 

In such circumstances, the British general found that it would be 
impossible to procure sufficient supplies of provisions by the way of 
Fort George, and determined to replenish his own magazines at the 
expense o( those of the Americans. Having received information 
that a large quantity of stores were laid up at Bennington, and 
guarded only by the militia, he formed the design of surprising that 
place ; and was made to believe that as soon as a detachment of the 
royal army should appear in that quarter, it would receive effectual 
assistance from a large body of loyalists, who only waited for the 
appearance of a support, and would in that event come forward and 
aid the royal cause. Full of these expectations, he detached Colonel 
Baum, a German officer, with a select body of troops, to surprise 
the place. His force consisted of about five hundred regular troops, 
some Canadians, and more than one hundred Indians, with two light 
pieces of artillery. To facilitate their operations, and to be ready to 
take advantage of the success of the detachment, the royal army 
moved along the east bank of Hudson river, and encamped nearly 
opposite to Saratoga ; having at the same time thrown a bridge of 
rafts over the river, by which the army passed to that place. With 
a view to support Baum, if it should be found necessary, Lieutenant- 


Colonel Breyman's corps, consisting of the Brunswick grenadiers, 
light infantry, and chasseurs were posted at Battenkill. 

-a^W^^B- ^^ENERAL STARK having received in- 

e^^B^^^^^^^"^^^ H -_, formation that a party of Indians were 

^^tM^m ff"^ ^'^^'"^ ^^ Cambridge, sent Lieutenant-Colonel 

==^ =:^ ^ B H |^- '-^m i-'^' Greg on August the 13th, with a party 

.— ^ ^MP:^^B | | ^^^te of two hundred men, to stop their pro- 

^^^^^^tUvi^^S^^^ff gress. Toward night he was informed 
^^SB^^ ^^ * l!l!ilS! r jpHwL by express that a large body of regulars 
^^^^^^^^^^^^;^^^P was in the rear of the Indians, and ad- 
^^^^ ^ ^^^^^ ^g^ ^^^g vancing toward Bennington. On this 

intelligence. Stark drew together his 
briffade, and the militia that w^ere at hand, and sent on to Manchester 
to Colonel Warner, to bring on his regiment ; he sent expresses at 
the same time to the neighboring militia, to join him with the utmost 
speed. On the morning of the 14th, he marched with his troops, 
and at the distance of seven miles he met Greg on the retreat, and 
the enemy within a mile of him. Stark drew up his troops in ordei 
of battle; but the enemy coming in sight, halted upon a very advan- 
tageous piece of ground. Baum perceived the Americans were too 
strong to be attacked with his present force, and sent an express to 
Burgoyne with an account of his situation, and to have Breyman 
march immediately to support him. In the mean time, small parties 
of the Americans kept up a skirmish with the enemy, killed and 

wounded thirty of them, with two of their Indian chiefs, without any 
loss to themselves. The ground the Americans had taken, was un- 
favorable for a general action, and Stark retreated about a mile, and 
encamped. A council of war was held, and it was agreed to send two 
detachments upon the enemy's rear, while the rest of the troops 
should make an attack upon their front. The next day the weather 
was rainy, and though it prevented a general action, there were fre 
quent skirmishes in small parties, which proved favorable and encou 
raging to the Americans. 

On August the sixteenth, in the morning. Stark was joined by 
Colonel Symonds and a body of militia from Berkshire, and pro 
ceeded to attack the enemy, agreeably to the plan which had been 
concerted. Colonel Baum, in the meantime, had intrenched on an 
advantageous piece of ground near St. Koicks mills, on a branch of 
Hoosic river, and rendered his post as strong as his circumstances 
and situation would admit. Colonel Nichols was detached with two 
hundred men to the rear of his left. Colonel Herrick with three hun- 
dred men to the rear of his right ; both were to join, and then make 
the attack. Colonels Hubbard and Stickney, with two hundred 


men, were ordered on the right, and one hundred were advanced 
toward the front to draw the attention of the enemy that way. 
About three o'clock in the afternoon the troops had taken their 
station, and were ready to commence the action. While Nichols 
and Herrick were bringing their troops together, the Indians were 
alarmed at the prospect, and pushed off between the two corps, but 
received a fire as they were passing, by which three of them were 
killed and two wounded. Nichols then began the attack, and was 
followed by all the other divisions ; those in the front immediately 
advanced, and in a few minutes the action became general. It lasted 
about two hours, and was like one continued peal of thunder. Baum 
made a brave defence ; and the German dragoons, after they had 
expended their ammunition, led by their colonel, charged with their 
swords, but they were soon overpowered. Their works were carried 
on all sides, their two pieces of cannon were taken. Colonel Baum 
himself was mortally wounded and taken prisoner, and all his men, 
except a few, who had escaped into the woods, were either killed or 
taken prisoners. Having completed the business by taking the whole 
party, the militia began to disperse and look out for plunder. But 
in a few minutes Stark received information that a large reinforce- 
ment was on their march, and within two miles of him. Fortunately 
at that moment Colonel Warner came up with his regiment from 
Manchester. This brave and experienced officer commanded a regi- 
ment of continental troops, which had been raised in Vermont. 
Mortified that he had not been in the former engagement, he instantly 
led on his men against Breyman, and began the second engagement. 
Stark collected the militia as soon as possible, and pushed on to his 
assistance. The action became general, and the battle continued 
obstinate on both sides till sunset, when the Germans were forced to 
give way, and were pursued till dark. They left their two field- 
pieces behind, and a considerable number were made prisoners. They 
retreated in the best manner they could, improving the advantages 
of the evening and night, to v/hich alone their escape was ascribed. 
In these actions the Americans took four brass field-pieces, twelve 
brass drums, two hundred and fifty dragoon swords, four ammunition 
wagons, and about seven hundred prisoners, with their arms and ac- 
coutrements. Two hundred and seven men were found, dead upon the 
spot, the numbers of wounded w^ere unknown. The loss of the Ameri- 
cans was but small ; thirty were slain, and about forty were wounded. 
Stark was not a little pleased at having so fair an opportunity to 
vindicate his own conduct. He had now shown that no neglect from 
Congress had made him disaff'ected to the American cause, and that 
he had rendered a much more important service than he could have 



Battle of Bennington. 

done by joining Schuyler, and remaining inactive in his camp. Con- 
gress embraced the opportunity to assign to him his rank, and though 
he had not given to them any account of his victory, or written to 
them at all upon the subject, on October the fourth they resolved, — 
" That the thanks of Congress be presented to General Stark, of the 
New Hampshire mihtia, and the officers and troops under his com- 
mand, for their brave and successful attack upon, and signal victory 
over the enemy in their lines at Bennington ; and that Brigadier 
Stark be appointed a brigadier-general in the army of the United 
States." And never were thanks more deserved, or more wisely 
given to a military officer. 

In his official account of the affair, General Stark thus writes : " It 
lasted two hours, the hottest I ever saiv in my life ; it represented one- 
continued clap of thunder : however, the enemy were obliged to give 
way, and leave their field-pieces, and all their baggage behind them; 
they were all environed within two breast-works with artillery ; but 
our martial courage proved too strong for them. I then gave orders 
to rally again, in order to secure the victory; but in a few minutes 
Was informed that there was a lar^e reinforcement on their march 


within two miles. Colonel Warner's regiment, luckily coming up at 
the moment, renewed the attack with fresh vigor. I pushed forward 
as many of the men as I could to their assistance ; the battle con- 
tinued obstinate on both sides until sunset ; the enemy was obliged 
to retreat ; we pursued them till dark, and had day lasted an hour 
longer, should have taken the whole body of them," 

On what small events do the popular humor and military success 
depend ! The capture of one thousand Germans by General Wash- 
ington at Trenton, had served to wake up and save the whole conti- 
nent. The exploit of Stark, at Bennington, operated with the same 
kind of influence, and produced a similar effect. This victory was 
the first event that had proved encouraging to the Americans in the 
northern department, since the death of General Montgomery. Mis- 
fortune had succeeded misfortune, and defeat had followed defeat 
from that 'period till now. The present instance was the first in 
which victory had quitted the royal standard, or seemed even to be 
wavering. She was now found with the American arms, and the 
effect seemed in fact to be greater than the cause. It raised the 
spirit of the country to an uncommon degree of animation ; and by 
showing the militia what they could perform, rendered them willing 
and desirous to turn out and try what fortunes would await their 
exertions. It had a still greater effect on the royal army. The 
British generals were surprised to hear that an enemy, whom they 
had contempl^ed with no other feelings than those of contempt, 
should all at once wake up, and discover much of the spirit of hero- 
ism. To advance upon the mouth of cannon, to attack fortified lines, 
to carry strong intrenchments, were exploits which they supposed 
belonged exclusively to the armies of kings. To see a body of 
American militia, ill-dressed, but little disciplined, without cannon, 
armed only with farmers' guns without bayonets, and who had been 
accustomed to fly at their approach ; that such men should force the 
intrenchments, capture the cannon, kill, and make prisoners of a 
large body of the royal army, was a matter of indignation, astonish- 
ment, and surprise. 

General Stark volunteered his services under General Gates at 
Saratoga, and assisted in the operations which compelled his retreat 
on the Hudson, and in the council which stipulated the surrender of 
General Burgoyne, nor did he relinquish his valuable services till he 
could greet his native country as an independent em^pire. General 
Stark was of the middle stature, not formed by nature to exhibit an 
erect soldierly mien. His manners were frank and unassuming, but 
he manifested a peculiar sort of eccentricity and negligence, which 
precluded all display of personal dignity, and seemed to place him 



BuTgoyne's xetieat on tlie Hudson. 

among those of ordinary rank in life. His character as a private 
citizen was unblemished, and he was ever held in respect. For the 
last few years of his life, he enjoyed a pecuniary bounty from the 
government. He lived to the advanced age of ninety-three years, 
eight months, and twenty-four days, and died May 8th, 1822. 

General Stark's high character as a commander, was fully appre- 
ciated by the British. When the battle of Bunker Hill was about 
to commence, some one asked General Gage whether he thought the 
provincials would stand the assault of the royal troops. "Yes," said 
he, " if one John Stark is amongst them — he served under me at 
Lake George, and was a brave fellow." 

Stark's address to the soldiers at Bennington has ever been ad- 
mired as a fine specimen of laconic military eloquence. " We must 
conquer, my boys, or Molly Stark's a widow." Nothing could have 
more forcibly reminded them of the homes and altars which they 
were about so nobly to defend. 

When he was in the heat of the action at Bunker Hill, a soldier 
reported to him that his son, a youth of sixteen, had fallen. " Is 
this a time for private grief, with the foe in our face," exclaimed the 
veteran, and the soldier, whose- report turned out in the sequel to be 
unfounded, was forthwith ordered back to his duty. 



General Stark's " tomb," says the author of Washington and the 
Generals of the Revolution, " is built upon the banks of the Merri- 
mack, upon a rising ground commanding a view of a long reach of 
river and country. His monument is an obelisk of granite, (granite 
should be the only material to commemorate the great men of our 
Revolution :) the inscription simply — 'Major Creneral Starh.^ " We 
could wish it were less, and yet more than this, " John Stark." 

Lake George. 


HIS early martyr to the cause of 
freedom was born in Roxbury, near 
Boston, in the year 1741. His 
father was a respectable farmer in 
that place, who had held several 
municipal offices, to the acceptance of his 
fellow-citizens. Joseph, with several of his 
brothers, was instructed in the elementary 
branches of knowledge, at the public gram- 
mar school of the town, which was distinguished for its successive 
instructors of superior attainments. In 1755 he entered college, 
where he sustained the character of a youth of talents, fine manners, 
and of a generous independent deportment, united to great personal 
courage and perseverance. An anecdote will illustrate his fearless- 
ness and determination at that age when character can hardly be 
said to be formed. Several students of Warren's class shut them- 




Warren studying Medicine. 

selves in a room to arrange some college affairs in a way which they 
knew was contrary to his wishes, and barred the door so effectually 
that he coald not without great violence force it : but he did not 
give over the attempt of getting among them ; for perceiving that 
the window of the room in which they were assembled was open, 
and near a spout which extended from the roof of the building to 
the ground, he went to the top of the house, slid down to the eaves, 
seized the spout, and when he had descended as far as the window, 
threw himself into the chamber among them. At that instant the 
spout, which was decayed and weak, gave way and fell to the ground. 
He looked at it without emotion, said that it had served his purpose, 
and began to take his part in the business. 

On leaving college in 1759, Warren turned his attention to the 
study of medicine, under the direction of Doctor Lloyd, an eminent 
physician of that day, whose valuable life has been protracted almost 
to the present time. Warren was distinguished very soon after he 
commenced practice; for when in 1764 the small-pox spread in 
Boston, he was among the most successful in his method of treating 



Boston Massacre. 

that disease, which was then considered the most dreadful scourge 
of the human race ; and the violence of which had baffled the efforts 
of the learned faculty of medicine from the time of its first appear- 
ance. From this moment he stood high among his brethren, and, 
was the favorite of the people ; and what he gained in their good 
will he never lost. His personal appearance, his address, his courtesy 
and his humanity, won the way to the hearts of all ; and his know- 
ledge and superiority of talents secured the conquest. A bright and 
lasting fame in his profession, with the attendant consequences, 
wealth and influence, were within his reach, and near at hand : but 
the calls of a distracted country were paramount to every considera- 
tion of his own interests, and he entered the vortex of politics never 
to return to the peaceful course of professional labor. 

On the 6th of March, 1775, Warren delivered an oration in com 
memoration of the Boston massacre. It was at his own solicitation 
that he was appointed to this duty a second time. The fact is illus- 
trative of his character, and worthy of remembrance. Some British 
officers of the army then in Boston, had publicly declared that it 


should be at the price of the life of any man to speak of the event of 
March 5th, 1770, on that anniversary. Warren's soul took fire at 
such a threat, so openly made, and he wished for the honor of braving 
it. This was readily granted ; for at such a time a man would pro- 
bably find but few rivals. Many who would spurn the thought of 
personal fear, might be apprehensive that they would be so far dis- 
concerted as to forget their discourse. It is easier to fight bravely, 
than to think clearly or correctly in danger. Passion sometimes 
nerves the arm to fight, but disturbs the regular current of thought. 
The day came, and the weather was remarkably fine. The old South 
Meeting-house was crowded at an early hour. The British officers 
occupied the aisles, the flight of steps to the pulpit, and several of 
them were within it. It was not precisely known whether this was 
accident or design. The orator, with the assistance of his friends, 
made his entrance at the pulpit window by a ladder. The officers 
seeing his coolness and intrepidity, made way for him to advance and 
address the audience. An awful stillness preceded his exordium. 
Each man felt the palpitations of his own heart, and saw the pale but 
determined face of his neighbor. The speaker began his oration in 
a firm tone of voice, and proceeded with great energy and pathos. 
Warren and his friends were prepared to chastise contumely, prevent 
disgrace, and avenge an attempt at assassination. 

The scene was sublime ; a patriot, in whom the flush of youth and 
the grace and dignity of manhood were combined, stood armed in the 
sanctuary of God to animate and encourage the sons of liberty, and 
to hurl defiance at their oppressors. The orator commenced with the 
early history of the country, described the tenure by which we held 
our liberties and property, the affection we had constantly shoviT.1 the 
parent country, and boldly told them how, and by whom these bless- 
ings of life had been violated. There was in this appeal to Britain — 
in this description of sufi^ering, agony and horror, a calm and high- 
souled defiance which must have chilled the blood of every sensible 
foe. Such another hour has seldom happened in the history of man, 
and is not surpassed in the records of nations. The thunders of 
Demosthenes rolled at a distance from Philip and his host — and 
Tully poured the fiercest torrent of his invective when Catiline was 
at a distance, and his dagger no longer to be feared : but Warren's 
speech was made to proud oppressors resting on their arms, whose 
errand it was to overawe, and whose business it was to fight. 

If the deed of Brutus deserved to be commemorated by history, 
poetry, painting and sculpture, should not this instance of patriotism 
and bravery be held in lasting remembrance ? If he 
" That struck the foremost man of all this world," 



Battle of Lezington. 

was hailed as the first of freemen, what honors are not due to him, 
who, undismayed, bearded the British lion, to show the world what 
his countrymen dared to do in the cause of liberty ? If the statue of 
Brutus was placed among those of the gods, who were the preservers 
of Roman freedom, should not that of Warren fill a lofty niche in 
the temple reared to perpetuate the remembrance of our birth as a 
nation ? 

If independence was not at first openly avowed by our leading 
men at that time, the hope of attaining it was fondly cherished, and 
the exertions of the patriots pointed to this end. The wise knew 
that the storm, which the political Prosperos were raising, would pass 
away in blood. With these impressions on his mind, Warren for 
several years was preparing himself by study and observation, to take 
a conspicuous rank in the military arrangements which he knew 
must ensfte. 

On the 18th of April, 1775, by his agents in Boston, he discovered 
the design of the British commander to seize or destroy our few 
stores at Concord. He instantly despatched several confidential 
messengers to Lexington, The late venerable patriot, Paul Revere, 
was one of them. This gentleman has given a very interesting 
account of the difficulties he encountered in the discharge of this 
duty. The alarm was given, and the militia, burning -wath resent- 


ment, were at daybreak on the nineteenth, on the road to repel insuit 
and aggression. The drama was opened about sunrise, within a few 
yards of the house of God, in Lexington. Warren hastened to the 
field of action in the full ardor of his soul, and shared the 'dangers 
of the day. While pressing on the enemy, a musket-ball took off a 
lock of his hair close to his ear. The lock was rolled and pinned, 
after the fashion of that day, and considerable force must have been 
necessary to have cut it away. The people were delighted with his 
cool, collected bravery, and already considered him as a leader, whose 
gallantry they were to admire, and in whose talents they were to 
confide. On the 14th of June, 1775, the Provincial Congress of 
Massachusetts made hira a major-general of their forces, but previous 
to the date of his commission, he had been unceasing in his exertions 
to maintain order and enforce discipline among the troops, which 
had hastily assembled at Cambridge, after the battle of Lexington. 
He mingled in the ranks, and by every method and argument strove 
to inspire them with confidence, and succeeded in a most wonderful 
manner in imparting to them a portion of the flame which glowed in 
his own breast. At such a crisis genius receives its birthright — the 
homage of inferior minds, who for self-preservation are willing to be 
directed. Previous to receiving the appointment of major-general, 
he had been requested to take the ofiice of physician general to the 
army, but he chose to be where the wounds were to be made, rather 
than were they were to be healed. Yet he lent his aid and advice to 
the medical department of the army, and was of great service to them 
in their organization and arrangements. 

He was at this time president of the Provincial Congress, having 
been elected the preceding year a member from the town of Boston. 
In this body he discovered his extraordinary powers of mind, and 
his peculiar fitness for responsible offices at such a juncture. Cau- 
tious in proposing measures, he was assiduous in pursuing what he 
thought, after mature deliberation, to be right, and never counted 
the probable cost of a measure, when he had decided that it was 
necessary to be taken. When this Congress, which was sitting at 
Watertown, adjourned for the day, he mounted his horse and hastened 
to the camp. Every day ' he bought golden opinions of all sorts of 
men ;' and when the troops were called to act on Breed's Hill, he 
had so often been among them that his person was known to most 
of the soldiers. 

Several respectable historians have fallen into some errors in de- 
scribing the battle in which he fell, by giving the command of the 
troops on that day to Warren, when he was only a volunteer in the 
fight. He did not arrive on the battle-ground until the enemy had 



commenced their movements for the attack. As soon as he made 
his appearance on the field, the veteran commander of the day, Colo- 
nel Prescott, desired to act under his directions, but Warren declined 
taking any other part than that of a volunteer, and added, that he 
came to learn the art of war from an experienced soldier, vi^hose 
orders he should be happy to obey. In the battle he was armed with 
a musket, and stood in the ranks, now and then changing his place 
to encourage his fellow-soldiers by words and by example. He un- 
doubtedly, from the state of hostilities, expected soon to act in his 
high military capacity^ and it was indispensable, according to his 
views, that he should share the dangers of the field as a common 
soldier with his fellow-citizens, that his reputation for bravery n ight 
be put beyond the possibility of suspicion. The wisdom of such a 
course would never have been doubted, if he had returned in safety 
from the fight. In such a struggle for independence, the ordinary 
rules of prudence and caution could not govern those who were 
building up their names for future usefulness by present exertion. 
Some maxims drawn from the republican writers of antiquity, were 
worn as their mottos. Some precepts, descriptive of the charms of 
liberty, were ever on their tongues, and some classical model of 
Greek or Roman patriotism, was constantly in their minds. Instances 
of great men mixing in the rank of common soldiers, were to be 
found in ancient times, when men fought for their altars and their 
homes. The cases were parallel, and the examples were imposing. 
When the battle was decided, and our people fled, Warren was one 
of the last who left the breastwork, and was slain within a few yards 
of it as he was slov,'ly retiring. He probably felt mortified at the 
event of the day, out had he icnown how dearly the victory was pur- 
chased, and how little honor was gained by those who won it, his 
heart would have been at rest. Like the band of Leonidas, the 
vanquished have received by the judgment of nations, from which 
there is no appeal, the imperishable laurels of victors. His death 
brought a sickness to the heart of the community, and the people 
mourned his fall, not with the convulsive agony of a betrothed virgin 
over the bleeding corpse of her lover — but with the pride of the 
Spartan mother, who, in the intensity of her grief, smiled to see that 
the wounds whence life had flown were on the breast of her son — 
and was satisfied that he had died in defence of his country. The 
worth of the victim, and the horror of the sacrifice, gave a higher 
value to our liberties, and produced a more fixed determination to 
preserve them. 

The battle of Bunker Hill has often been described, and of late its 
minutest details given to the public ; but never was the military, 



Death of Warren. 

moral, and political character of that great event more forcibly 
drawn, than in the following extract from the North American 
Review, for July, 1818 : — 

" The incidents and the result of the battle itself, were most 
important, and indeed, most wonderful. As a mere battle, few sur- 
pass it in whatever engages and interests the attention. It was 
fought on a conspicuous eminence, in the immediate neighborhood of 
a populous city ; and consequently in the view of thousands of spec- 
tators. The attacking army moved over a sheet of water to the 
assault. The operations and movements were of course all visible 
and all distinct. Those who looked on from the houses and heights of 
Boston had a fuller view of every important operation and event, than 
can ordinarily be had of any battle, or than can possibly be had of 
such as are fought on a more extended ground, or by detachments of 
troops acting in different places, and at different times, and in some 
measure independently of each other. — When the British columns 
were advancing to the attack, the flames of Charlestown, (fired, as is 
generally supposed, by a shell,) began to ascend. The spectators. 

-=#=»=^= — =si=w<=^^ — =^m-- 




far outnumbering both armies, thronged and crowded on every height 
and every point which afforded a view of the scene, themselves con- 
stituting a very important part of it. 

The troops of the two armies seemed hke so many combatants in 
an amphitheatre. — The manner in which they should acquit them- 
selves, was to be judged of, not as in other cases of mihtary engage- 
ments, by reports and future history, but by a vast and anxious 
assembly already on the spot, and waiting with unspeakable concern 
and emotion the progress of the day. 

In other battles the recollection of wives and children has been 
used as an excitement to animate the warrior's breast and nerve his 
arm. Here was not a mere recollection, but an actual presence of 
them and other dear connexions, hanging on the skirts of the battle, 
anxious and agitated, feeling almost as if wounded themselves by 
every blow of the enemy, and putting forth, as it were, their own 
strength, and all the energy of their own throbbing bosoms, into 
every gallant effort of their warring friends. 

But there was a more comprehensive and vastly more important 
view of that day's contest, than has been mentioned, — a view, indeed, 
which ordinary eyes, bent intently on what was immediately before 
them, did not embrace, but which was perceived in its full extent 
and expansion by minds of a higher order. Those men who were 
at the head of the colonial councils, who had been engaged for years 
in the previous stages of the quarrel with England, and who had 
been accustomed to look forward to the future, were well apprised 
of the magnitude of the events likely to hang on the business of that 
day. They saw in it not only a battle, but the beginning of a civil 
war, of unmeasured extent and uncertain issue. All America and 
all England were likely to be deeply concerned in the consequences. 
The individuals themselves, who knew full well what agency they 
had had in bringing affairs to this crisis, had need of all their courage ; 
— not that disregard of personal safety, in which the vulgar suppose 
true courage to consist, but that high and fixed moral sentiment, 
that steady and decided purpose, which enables men to pursue a 
distant end, with a full view of the difficulties and dangers before 
them, and with a conviction that, before they arrive at the proposed 
end, should they ever reach it, they must pass through evil report 
as well as good report, and be liable to obloquy, as well as to defeat. 

Spirits, that fear nothing else, fear disgrace ; and this danger is 
necessarily encountered by those who engage in civil war. Unsuc- 
cessful resistance is not only ruin to its authors, but is esteemed, and 
necessarily so, by the laws of all countries, treasonable. This is the 
case, at least till resistance becomes so general and formidable as to 


assume the form of regular war. But who can tell, when resistance 
commences, whether it will attain even to that degree of success ? 
Some of those persons who signed the Declaration of Independence 
in 1776, described themselves as signing it, ' as with halters about 
their necks.' If there were grounds for this remark in 1776, when 
the cause had become so much more general, how much greater was 
the hazard, when the battle of Bunker Hill was fought ? 

These considerations constituted, to enlarged and liberal minds, 
the moral sublimity of the occasion ; while to the outward senses the 
movement of armies, the roar of artillery, the brilliancy of the reflec- 
tion of a summer's sun, from the burnished armor of the British 
columns, and the flames of a burning town, made up a scene of extra- 
ordinary grandeur." 

This eminence has become sacred ground. It contains in its 
bosom the ashes of the brave who died fighting to defend their altars 
and their homes. Strangers from all countries visit this spot, for it 
is associated in their memories with a Marathon and Plataea, and 
all the mighty struggles of determined freemen. Our citizens love 
to wander over this field — the aged to awake recollections, and the 
youthful to excite heroic emotions. The battle-ground is now all 
plainly to be seen — the spirit of modern improvement, which would 
stop the streams of Helicon to turn a mill, and cause to be felled 
the trees of Paradise to make a rafter, has yet spared this hallowed 

If "the days of chivalry be gone forever," and the high and en- 
thusiastic feelings of generosity and magnanimity be not so widely 
diflfused as in more heroic ages, yet it cannot be denied but that there 
have been, and still are, individuals whose bosoms are warmed with 
a spirit as glowing and ethereal as ever swelled the heart of "mailed 
knight," who, in the ecstasies of love, religion and martial glory, 
joined the war-cry on the plains of Palestine, or proved his steel on 
the infidel foe. The history of every revolution is interspersed with 
brilliant episodes of individual prowess. The pages of our own his- 
tory, when fully written out, will sparkle profusely with these gems 
of romantic valor. 

The calmness and indifference of the veteran " in clouds of dust 
and seas of blood," can only be acquired by long acquaintance with 
the trade of death ; but the heights of Charlestown will bear eternal 
testimony how suddenly, in the cause of freedom, the peaceful citi- 
zen can become the invincible warrior — stung by oppression, he 
springs forward from his tranquil pursuits, undaunted by opposition, 
and undismayed by danger, to fight even to death for the defence of 
his rights. Parents, wives, children and country, all the hallowed 


properties of existence, are to him the talisman that takes fear from 
his heart, and nerves his arm to victory. 

In the requiem over those who have fallen in the cause of their 
country, which 

" Time with his own eternal lips shall sing," 

the praises of Warren will be distinctly heard. The blood of those 
patriots who have fallen in the defence of republics, has often " cried 
from the ground" against the ingratitude of the country for which it 
was shed. Toward Warren there was no ingratitude — our country is 
free from this stain. Congress were the guardians of his honor, and 
remembered that his children were unprotected orphans. Within a 
year after his death. Congress passed the following resolutions : — 

That a monument be erected to the memory of General Warren, 
in the towni of Boston, with the following inscription : 









June 17, 1775. 

The Congress of the United States, as 
an acknowledgment of his services 
and distinguished merit, have erected 




It was resolved likewise, " That the eldest son of General Warren 
should be educated from that time at the expense of the United 
States." On the first of July, 1780, Congress recognizing these 
former resolutions, further resolved " That it should be recommended 
to the executive of Massachusetts Bay to make provision for the 
maintenance and education of his three younger children. And that 
Congress would defray the expense to the amount of the half pay of 



a major-general, to commence at the time of his death, and continue 
till the youngest of the children should be of age." 

The other heroes of Bunker Hill have their memory consecrated 
in the splendid granite monument erected by subscription on the 
battle ground. 

The corner stone of this monument was laid by Lafayette, on the 
fiftieth anniversary of the battle (June 17th, 1825,) in the presence 
of myriads of spectators. Many of the aged survivors of the battle, 
witnessed the scene, and the eloquence of Webster gave it additional 
interest. Such august ceremonials seldom occur in the history of 
any country. 

Bunker Hill Monument. 


OLONEL in the Americari 
army, was the eldest son of 

Baily Washington, Esq., of 
Stafford county, in the state 
of Virginia ; and belonged to 
a younger branch of the original Wash- 
ington family. 

In the commencement of the war, 
and at an early period of life, he had 
entered the army, as captain of a com- 
pany of infantry under the command 
of General Mercer. In this corps, h? 
had acquired from actual service, a practical knowledge of the pro 
fession of arms. > 

He fought in the battle of Long Island ; and in his retreat through 
New Jersey, accompanied his great kinsman, cheerful vmder the 
gloom, coolly confronting the danger, and bearing, with exemplary 
fortitude and firmness, the heavy misfortunes and privations of the 

In the successful attack on the British post at Trenton, Captain 
Washington acted a brilliant, and most important part. Perceiving 
the enemy about to form a battery, and point it into a narrow street, 




James Monroa 

against the advancing American column, he charged them, at the 
head of his company, drove them from their guns, and thus prevented 
certainly the effusion of much blood, perhaps the repiilse of the assail- 
ing party. In this act of heroism, he received a severe wound in 
the wrist. It is but justice to add, that on this occasion, Captain 
Washington was ably and most gallantly supported by Lieutenant 
Monroe, late President of the United States, who also sustained a 
wound in the hand. 

Shortly after this adventure, Washington was promoted to a 
majority in a regiment of horse. In this command he was very 
actively engaged in the northern and middle states, with various 
success, until the year 1780. Advanced to the rank of lieutenant- 
colonel, and placed at the head of a regiment of cavalry, composed 
of the remains of three that had been reduced, by sickness and battle, 
he was then attached to the army under General Lincoln, engaged 
in the defence of South Carolina. 

Here his service was various, and his course eventful ; marked by 
a few brilliant strokes of fortune, but checkered with two severe 
disasters. Tho first of these reverses was at Monk's Corner, where 
he himself commanded ; the other at Leneau's Ferry, where he was 
second in command to Colonel White. 

COLONEL Washington's stratagem. 329 

Inured to an uncommon extent and variety of hard service, and 
sufficiently disciplined in the school of adversity, Colonel Washing- 
ton, although a young man, was now a veteran in military experi- 
ence. Added to this, he was somewhat accustomed to a warm 
climate, and had acquired, from actual observation, considerable 
knowledge of that tract of country which was to constitute in future 
the theatre of war. 

Such was this officer when at the head of a regiment of cavalry, 
he was attached to the army of General Greene. 

One of his partisan exploits, however, the result of a well-con- 
ceived stratagem, must be succinctly narrated. 

Having learned, during a scouting excursion, that a large body 
of loyalists, commanded by Colonel Rugeley, was posted at Rugeley's 
mill, twelve miles from Camden, he determined on attacking them.. 

Approaching the enemy, he found them so secured in a large log 
barn, surrounded by abattis, as to be perfectly safe from the opera- 
tions of cavalry. 

Forbidden thus to attempt his object by direct attack, his usual 
and favorite mode of warfare, he determined for once to have re- 
course to policy. 

Shaping, therefore, a pine log in imitation of a field-piece, mount- 
ing it on wheels, and staining it with mud to make it look like iron, 
he brought it up in military style, and affected to make arrangements 
to batter down the barn. 

To give the stratagem solemnity and effect, he despatched a flag 
warning the garrison of the impending destruction, and to prevent 
bloodshed, summoned them to submission. 

Not prepared to resist artillery. Colonel Rugeley obeyed the sum- 
mons : and with a garrison of one hundred and three, rank and file, 
surrendered at discretion. 

In the spring of 1782, Colonel Washington married Miss Elliot, of 
Charleston, and established himself at Sandy Hill, her ancestral seat. 

After the conclusion of peace, he took no other concern in public 
affairs than to appear occasionally in the legislature of South Carolina. 

When General Washington accepted the command in chief of the 
armies of the United States, under the presidency of Mr. Adams, he 
selected as one of his staff, his kinsman Colonel William Washing- 
ton, with the rank of brigadier-general. Had other proof been want- 
ing, this alone was sufficient to decide his military worth. Colonel 
Washington died on the 6th of March, 1810. 

In private life he was a man of unsullied honor, united to an 
amiable temper, lively manners, a hospitable disposition, and a truly 
benevolent heart. 



fourth son of Colonel Charles 
Clinton, and was born in Ulster 
county, New York, August 19th, 
1736. In common with his 
brothers, he received an excellent education. 
In the critical and eventful affairs of 
nations, when their rights and interests are 
invaded. Providence, in the plenitude of its 
beneficence, has generally provided men 
qualified to raise the standard of resistance, 
and has infused a redeeming spirit into the community, which enabled 
it to rise superior to the calamities that menaced its liberty and its 
prosperity. History does not record a more brilliant illustration of 
this truth than the American Revolution. In defiance of the most 
appalling considerations, constellations of the most illustrious men, 
pierced the dark and gloomy clouds which enveloped this oppressed 
people, and shone forth in the councils and the armies of the nation. 
Their wisdom drew forth the resources, and their energy vindicated 
the rights of America. They took their lives in their hands, and 
liberty or death was inscribed on their hearts. Amidst this gallant 
band, General Clinton stood deservedly conspicuous. To an iron 
constitution and an invincible courage, he added great coolness in 
action and perseverance in effort. The predominant inclination of 



his mind was to a military life, and by a close attention to the studies 
connected with it, he prepared himself to perform those duties which 
afterward devolved upon him, and thereby established his character 
as an intrepid and skilful officer. 

In the war of 1756, usually denominated the old French war, Clin- 
ton first encountered the fatigues and dangers of a military life. He 
was a captain under Colonel Bradstreet, at the capture of Fort Fron- 
tenac, and rendered essential service in that expedition by the capture 
of a sloop of war on Lake Ontario. 

His company was placed in row-galleys, and favored by a calm, 
compelled the French vessels to strike, after an obstinate resistance. 
His designation as captain commandant of the four companies, raised 
for the protection of the western frontiers of the counties of Orange 
and Ulster, was a post of great responsibility and hazard, and demon- 
strated the confidence of the government. The safety of a line of 
settlements, extending at least fifty miles, was intrusted to his vigi- 
lance and intrepidity. The ascendency of the French over the ruth- 
less savages, was always predominant, and the inhabitant of the 
frontiers was compelled to hold the plough with one hand, for his 
sustenance, and to grasp his gun with the other, for his defence ; 
and he was constantly in danger of being awakened, in the hour of 
darkness, by the war-whoop of the savages, to witness the conflagra 
tion of his dwelling and the murder of his family. 

After the termination of the French war, Mr. Clinton married 
Mary De Witt, and he retired from the camp to enjoy the repose of 
domestic life. 

When the American revolution was on the eve of its commence- 
ment, he was appointed, on the 30th June, 1775, by the continental 
congress, colonel of the third regiment of New York forces. On 
the 25th of October following, he was appointed by the provincial 
congress of New York, colonel of the regiment of foot in Ulster 
county ; on the 8th of March, 1776, by the continental congress, 
colonel of the second battalion of New York troops ; and on the 9th 
of August, 1776, a brigadier-general in the army of the United 
States ; in which station he continued during the greater part of the 
war, having the command dmhe New York line, or the troops of that 
state ; and at its close he was constituted a major-general. 

In 1775, his regiment composed part of the army under General 
Montgomery, which invaded Canada ; and he participated in all the 
fatigues, dangers, and privations of that celebrated, but unfortunate 

In October, 1777, he commanded at Fort Clinton, which, together 
with its neighbor. Fort Montgomery, constituted the defence of the 


Hudson river, against the ascent of an enemy. His brother, the 
governor, commanded in chief at both forts. Sir Henry Clinton, 
with a view to create a division in favor of General Burgoyne, moved 
up the Hudson with an army of four thousand men, and attacked 
those works, which were very imperfectly fortified, and only de- 
fended by five hundred men, composed principally of militia. After 
a most gallant resistance, the forts were carried by storm. General 
Clinton was the last man who left the works, and not until he was 
severely wounded by the thrust of a bayonet ; pursued and fired at 
by the enemy, and his attending servant killed. He bled profusely, 
and when he dismounted from his war-horse, in order to effect his 
escape from the enemy, who were close on him, it occurred to him 
that he must either perish on the mountains or be captured, unless 
he could supply himself with another horse ; an animal which some- 
times roamed at large in that wild region. In this emergency he 
took the bridle from his horse, and slid down a precipice of one hun- 
dred feet to the ravine of the creek which separated the forts, and 
feeling cautiously his way along its precipitous banks, he reached 
the mountain at a distance from the enemy, after having fallen into 
the stream, the cold water of which arrested a copious effusion of 
blood. The return of light furnished him with the sight of a horse, 
which conveyed him to his house, about sixteen miles from the fort, 
where he arrived about noon, covered with blood and laboring under 
a severe fever. In his helpless condition the British passed up the 
Hudson, within a few miles of his house, and destroyed the town of 

The cruel ravages and horrible irruptions of the Iroquois, or Six 
Nations of Indians, on our frontier settlements, rendered it necessary 
to inflict a terrible chastisement, which would prevent a repetition 
of their atrocities. An expedition was accordingly planned, and 
their principal command was committed to General Sullivan, who 
was to proceed up the Susquehanna, with the main body of the army, 
while General Clinton was to join him by the way of the Mohawk. 

The Iroquois inhabited, or occasionally occupied that immense 
and fertile region which composes the western parts of New York 
and Pennsylvania, and besides their ovm| ravages, from the vioijiity 
of their settlements to the inhabited parts of the United States, they 
facilitated the inroads of the more remote Indians. When General 
Sullivan was on his way to the Indian country, he was joined by 
General Clinton with upwards of sixteen hundred men. The latter 
had gone up the Mohawk in batteaux, from Schenectady, and after 
ascending that river about fifty-four miles, he conveyed his batteaux 
■rom Canajoharie to the head of Otsego lake, one of the sources 


of the Susquehanna. Finding the stream of water, in that river, too 
low to float his boats, he erected a dam across the mouth of the lake, 
which soon rose to the altitude of the dam. Having got his batteaux 
ready, he opened a passage through the dam for the water to flow. 
This raised the river so high that he was enabled to embark a]l his 
troops ; to float them down to Tioga, and to join General Sullivan 
in good season. The Indians collected their strength at Newtown ; 
took possession of proper ground, and fortified it with judgment, and 
on the 29th August, 1779, an attack was made on them; their 
works were forced, and their consternation was so great, that they 
abandoned all further resistance ; for, as the Americans advanced 
into their settlements, they retreated before them without throwing 
any obstructions in their way. The army passed between the Cayuga 
and Seneca lakes, by Geneva and Canandaigua, and as far west as 
the Genessee river, destroying large settlements and villages, and 
fields of corn ; orchards of fruit-trees, and gardens abounding with 
esculent vegetables. The progress of the Indians in agriculture, 
struck the Americans with astonishment. Many of their ears of 
corn measured twenty-two inches in length. They had horses, cows, 
and hogs in abundance. They manufactured salt and sugar, and 
raised the best of apples and peaches, and their dwellings were large 
and commodious. The desolation of their settlements, the destruc- 
tion of their provisions, and the conflagration of their houses, drove 


them to the British fortresses of Niagara for subsistence, where, living 
on salt provisions, to vv^hich they v\^ere unaccustomed, they died in 
great numbers, and the eifect of this expedition was, to diminish their 
population ; to damp their ardor ; to check their arrogance ; to 
restrain their cruelty, and to inflict an irrecoverable blow on their 
resources of extensive aggression. General Williamson and Colonel 
Pickens also attacked the Indians, and drove them into the settled 
towns of the Creeks, about the same time. 

For a considerable portion of the war. General Clinton'' was sta- 
tioned at Albany, where he commanded, in the northern' department 
of the Union, a place of high responsibility, and requiring uncommon 
vigilance and continual exertion. An incident occurred, when on 
this command, which strongly illustrates his character. A regiment 
which had been ordered to march, mutinied under arms, and peremp- 
torily refused obedience. The general, on being apprised of this, 
immediately repaired with his pistols to the ground : he went up to 
the head of the regiment and ordered it to march ; a silence ensued, 
and the order was not complied with. He then presented a pistol to 
the breast of a sergeant, who was the ringleader, and commanded 
him to proceed on pain of death ; and so on in succession along the 
line, and his command was, in every instance, obeyed, and the regi- 
ment restored to entire and complete subordination and submission. 

General Clinton was at the siege of Yorktown and the capture of 
Cornwallis, where he distinguished himself by his usual intrepidity. 

His last appearance in arms, was on the evacuation of the city of 
New York, by the British. He then bid the commander-in-chief a 
final and aflfectienate adieu, and retired to his ample estates, where 
he enjoyed that repose which was required by' a long period of fatigue 
and privation. 

He was, however, frequently called from his retirement by the 
unsolicited voice of his fellow-citizens, to perform civic duties. He 
was appointed a commissioner to adjust the boundary line between 
Pennsylvania and New York, which important measure was amicably 
and successfully accomplished. He was also selected by the legis- 
lature for an interesting mission, to settle controversies about lands 
in the west, which also terminated favorably. He represented his 
native county in the assembly, and in the convention that adopted 
the present constitution of the United States, and he was elected, 
without opposition, a senator from the middle district ; all which 
trusts he executed with perfect integrity, M'ith solid intelligence, and 
with the full approbation of his constituents. 

The temper of General Clinton was mild and affectionate, but 
-vhen raised by unprovoked or unmerited injury, he exhibited extra- 



ordinary and appalling energy. In battle he was as cool and as 
collected as if sitting by his fireside. Nature intended him for a 
gallant and efficient soldier, when she endowed him with the faculty 
of entire self-possession in the midst of the greatest dangers. 

He died on the 22d of December, 1812, and was interred in the 
family burial-place in Orange county ; and his monumental stone 
bears the following inscription : 

" Underneath are interred the remains of James Clinton, Esquire. 

He was born the 9th of August, 1736; and died the 22d of 
December, 1812. 

His life was principally devoted to the military service of his 
country, and he had filled with fidelity and honor, several distin- 
guished civil offices. 

He was an officer in the revolutionary war, and the war preceding ; 
and, at the close of the former, was a major-general in the army of 
the United States. He was a good man and a sincere patriot, per- 
forming, in the most exemplary manner, all the duties of life ; and 
he died, as he lived, without fear, and without reproach.'' 

Britisli Costume, 1777. 

MONG the many distinguished 
patriots of the Revolution, who 
have become tenants of the tomb, 
'/ e v^;\\v^\f the services of none will be more 
x/ iHk ^tsiA readily acknowledged, than those 
of the late venerable George Clinton, He 
is descended from a respectable and worthy 
family, and was born on the 26th July, 
1739, in the county of Ulster, in the colony 
of New York. His father, Colonel Charles 
Clinton, was an emigrant from Ireland. 

In early youth he was put to the study of law ; but long before he 
became a man, he rallied under the standard of his country, and 
assisted Amherst in the reduction of Montreal. In this campaign he 
lobly distinguished himself in a conflict on the northern waters, 



when, with four gun-boats, after a severe engagement, he captured a 
French brig of eighteen guns. 

This war being ended, he returned again to his favorite pursuit, the 
science of the law, and placed himself under the tuition of Chief 
Justice Smith, where he became a student with Governeur Morris, 
between whom and himself, a difference of political opinion, in after 
life wrought a separation. 

He had scarcely commenced as a practitioner, when, in 1765, the 
storm appeared to gather round his native land, and the tyrannic dis- 
position of the mother country was manifested. Foreseeing the 
evil at hand, with a mind glowing with patriotism, correct and quick 
in its perceptions ; and hke time, steady and fixed to the achieve- 
ment of its objects, he abandoned the advantages of the profession to 
which he had been educated, and became a member of the colonial 
legislature ; where he ever displayed a love of liberty, an inflexible 
attachment to the rights of his country, and that undaunted firmness 
and integrity, without which this nation never would have been free ; 
and which has ever formed the most brilliant, though by no means 
the most useful trait of his character. He was chief of the Whig 

In this situation he remained, contending against the doctrine of 
British supremacy ; and with great strength of argument, and force 
of popularity, supporting the rights of America, till the crisis arrived 
when, in 1775, he was returned a member of that patriotic congress, 
who laid the foundation of our independence. While in this vener- 
able body, it may be said of him with truth, that " he strengthened 
the feeble knees, and the hands that hang down." On the 4th of 
July, 1776, he was present at the glorious declaration of independ- 
ence, and assented with his usual energy and decision, to that mea- 
sure, but having been appointed a brigadier-general in the militia, and 
also in the continental army, the exigencies of his country at that 
trying hour, rendered it necessary for him to take the field in person, 
and he therefore retired from congress immediately after his vote was 
given, and before the instrument was transcribed for the signature 
of the members ; for which reason his name does not appear among 
the signers. 

A constitution having been adopted, for the state of New York, 
in April, 1777, he was chosen at the first election under it, both 
governor and lieutenant-governor, and was continued in the former 
office for eighteen years. In this year he was also appointed by 
congress to command the post of the Highlands, a most important 
and arduous duty. The design of the enemy was to separate New 
England from the rest of the nation, and by preventing succor from 


the east, to lay waste the middle and southern country. Had this 
plan been carried into effect, American liberty would probably have 
expired in its cradle. It was then that his vast and comprehensive 
genius viewed in its true light the magnitude of the evil contem- 
plated ; and Jie roused to a degree of energy unknown and unex- 
pected. It was then that Burgoyne was, with the best appointed 
army ever seen in America, attempting to force his way to Albany, 
and Howe attempting to effect a junction with him at that important 

The crisis was all important, and Clinton did not hesitate — he de- 
termined at all hazards to save his country. With this view, when 
Howe attempted to ascend the river, Clinton from every height and 
angle assailed him. His gallant defence of Fort Montgomery, with 
a handful of men, against a powerful force commanded by Sir Henry 
Clinton, was equally honorable to his intrepidity and his skill. The 
following are the particulars of his gallant conduct at the storming 
of forts Montgomery and Clinton, in October, 1777. 

" When the British reinforcements, under General Robertson, 
amounting to nearly two thousand men, arrived from Europe, Sir 
Henry Clinton used the greatest exertion, and availed himself of 
every favorable circumstance, to put these troops into immediate 
operation. Many were sent to suitable vessels, and united in the 
expedition, which consisted of about four thousand men, against the 
forts in the Highlands. Having made the necessary arrangements, 
he moved up the North river, and landed on the 4th of October at 
Tarrytown, purposely to impress General Putnam, under whose 
command a thousand continental troops had been left, with a belief, 
that his post at Peekskill was the object of attack. At eight o'clock 
at night, the general communicated the intelligence to Governor 
Clinton, of the arrival of the British, and at the same time expressed 
his opinion respecting their destination. The designs of Sir Henry 
were immediately perceived by the governor, who prorogued the 
assembly on the following day, and arrived that night at Fort Mont- 
gomery. The British troops in the mean time, were secretly con- 
veyed across the river, and assaults upon our forts were meditated to 
be made on the 6th, which were accordingly put in execution, by 
attacking the American advanced party at Doodletown, about two 
miles and a half from Fort Montgomery. The Americans received 
the fire of the British, and retreated to Fort Clinton. The enemy 
then advanced to the west side of the mountain, in order to attack 
our troops in the rear. Governor Clinton immediately ordered out 
a detachment of one hundred men toward Doodletown, and another 
of sixty, with a brass field-piece, to an eligible spot on another road. 


They were both soon attacked by the whole force of the enemy, and 
compelled to fall back. It has been remarked, that the talents, as 
well as the temper of a commander, are put to as severe a test in 
conducting a retreat, as in achieving a victory. The truth of this 
Governor Clinton experienced, when, with great bravery, and the 
most perfect order, he retired till he reached the fort. He lost no 
time in placing his men in the best manner that circumstances would 
admit. His post, however, as well as Fort Clinton, in a few minutes 
were invaded on every side. In the midst of this disheartening and 
appalling disaster, he was summoned, when the sun was only an hour 
high, to surrender in five minutes ; but his gallant spirit sternly 
refused to obey the call. In a short time after, the British made a 
general and most desperate attack on both posts, which was received 
by the Americans with undismayed courage and resistance. Officers 
and men, militia and continentals, all behaved nobly. An incessant 
fire was kept up till dusk, when our troops were overpowered by 
numbers, who forced the lines and redoubts at both posts. Many of 
the Americans fought their way out, others accidentally mixed with 
the enemy, and thus made their escape effectually ; for, besides 
being favored by the night, they knew the various avenues in the 
mountains. The governor, as well as his brother. General James 
Clinton, who was wounded, were not taken." 

Howe, driven to madness by the manly resistance of his foes, 
inconsiderately landed and marched into the country, and immortal- 
ized his name by burning Kingston and other villages. But the great 
object of the expedition, the forming a conjunction with Burgoyne, 
was happily defeated, by the capture of that general, and America 
was free. 

From this moment, for eighteen years in succession, he remained 
the governor of New York, re-elected to that important station by a 
generous and wise people, who knew how to appreciate his wisdom 
and virtue, and their own blessings. During this period, he was 
president of the convention of that state, which ratified the national 
constitution : when, as in all other situations, he undeviatingly mani- 
fested an ardent attachment to civil liberty. 

After the life of labor and usefulness, here faintly portrayed ; worn 
with the fatigues of duty, and with a disease which then afflicted 
him, but which had been removed for the last eight years of his life ; 
having led his native state to eminent, if not unrivalled importance 
and prosperity, he retired from public life, with a mind resolved not 
to mingle again with governmental concerns, and to taste those 
sweets which result from reflecting on a life well spent. 

In 1805 he was chosen Vice-President of the United States, by 



the same number of votes that elevated Mr. Jefferson to the presi 
denoy ; in which station he discharged his duties with unremitted 
attention ; presiding with great dignity in the senate, and evincing, 
by his votes and his opinions, his decided hostihty to constructive 
authority, and to innovations on the estabhshed principles of repub- 
lican government. 

He died at Washington, when attending to his duties as Vice- 
President, and was interred in that city, where a monument was 
erected by the filial piety of his children, with this inscription, written 
by his nephew : — 

" To the memory of George Clinton. He was born in the state 
of New York, on the 26th July, 1739, and died in the city of Wash- 
ington, on the 20th April, 1812, in the 73d year of his age." 

" He was a soldier and statesman of the Revolution. Eminent in 
council, and distinguished in war, he filled, with unexampled useful- 
ness, purity, and ability, among many other offices, those of Governor 
of his native state, and of Vice-President of the United States. 
While he lived, his virtue, wisdom, and valor were the pride, the 
ornament, and security of his country, and when he died, he left an 
illustrious example of a well spent life, worthy of all imitation." 

to the 
affe of 


HIS able commander was born in 
Bucks county, Pennsylvania, on 
the 13th of September, 1739. 
His ancestors were driven from 
France by the revocation of the 
edict of Nantz. They first settled in 
Scotland, and afterwards in the north of 
Ireland. His father emigrated to Penn- 
B^^- sylvania, from whence he removed to 
Augusta county, Virginia, and soon after 
Waxhaws, in South Carolina, before Andrew had attained the 




Like many of our most distinguished officers of the Revolution, 
he commenced his mihtary services in the French war, which 
terminated in 1763, when he began to develope those quahties 
for which he was afterwards so eminently distinguished In the 
year 1761, he served as a volunteer with Moultrie and Marion, 
in a bloody but successful expedition, under Lieutenant-Colonel 
Grant, a British officer, sent by General Amherst to command 
against the Cherokees. After the termination of the war, he 
removed to the Long Cane settlement, and was wholly engaged 
for several years in the usual pursuits of a frontier country ; hunting 
and agriculture. 

At an early period he took a decided stand against the right 
claimed by Great Britain, to tax her colonies without their con- 
sent ; and at the commencement of the Revolution was appointed 
captain of militia. The distinguished part which he acted in the 
struggle for independence, has been recorded by the historian, and 
the principal events can only be alluded to in the present sketch. 
His zeal and skill were rewarded by his country, by his being 
rapidly promoted to the respective commands of major, colonel, 
and brigadier-general. In the most despondent time, when this 
section of the Union was overrun by the enemy, and suffered from 
the tories all the horrors of civil war, he remained unshaken, and 
with Marion and Sumpter kept up the spirit of resistance. He 
commanded in chief in the expedition against the Cherokees, in 
1781 ; and such was his success, that in a few days, with an incon- 
siderable force, he subdued the spirit of that then powerful nation, 
and laid the foundation of a peace so permanent that it has not since 
been disturbed. 

At Kettle Creek his conduct was equally distinguished and suc- 
cessful ; with half the force he defeated, after a severe contest, a 
large body of tories, under the command of Colonel Boyd. The 
results of this victory were highly important. It broke the spirit of 
the tories, and secured the internal peace for a considerable time of 
the interior of the Carolinas and Georgia. No less conspicuous was 
his conduct at the Cowpens. He there commanded the militia forces ; 
and, animated by the spirit and courage of their commander in that 
important battle, they fairly won an equal share of glory with the 
continentals, under Colonel Howard. For his gallantry and conduct 
on that occasion, Congress voted him a sword. At the Eutaw he 
commanded, with Marion, the militia of the two Carolinas ; but in 
the early part of the action received a severe wound in his breast 
by a musket ball. His life was providentially saved by the ball 
striking the buckle of his sword. 



N that dark hour of the 
Revolution, when Charles- 
ton fell, and the victorious 
Britons spreading themselves 
over the country, advanced into 
the interior, the revived resent- 
ments of the royalists com- 
pelled Colonel Pickens, and the 
steady adherents of the cause 
^, of freedom, to abandon 
their habitations and 
country, and seek for 
refuge in North Caro- 
lina. So soon, how^ever, 
as General Greene had 
taken command of the army, and ordered General Morgan to enter 
the M^estern division of the state, to check the aggressions of the 
enemy, and to revive the drooping spirits of the whig inhabitants, 
Colonel Pickens was found the most active among his associates, 
seconding his enterprises, and by gentleness and conciliation attach- 
ing new adherents to the cause. Of his intrepid conduct at the 
battle of the Cowpens, it is scarcely necessary to speak. It is a 
w^ell-known fact, that he not only prevailed upon his riflemen to 
retain their fire till it could be given with deadly effect, but, when 
broken, and compelled to retreat, that he rallied them ; and what 
had never before been effected with militia, brought them a second 
time to meet their enemy, and by continued exertion to accomplish 
their final surrender. 

Peace being restored, the voice of his country called him to serve 
her in various civil capacities ; and he continued, without interrup- 
tion, in public employment until about 1801. By the treaty of 
Hopewell, with the Cherokees, in which he was one of the commis- 
sioners, the cession of that portion of the state now called Pendleton 
and Greenville, was obtained. Soon after he settled at Hopewell, 
on Keowee river, where the treaty was held. He was a member of 
the legislature, and afterwards of the convention which formed the 
state constitution. He was elected a member under the new consti 
tution, until 1794, when he became a member of Congress. De- 
clining a re-election to Congress, he was again returned a member 
to the legislature, in which post he continued until about 1811. 
Such was the confidence of General Washington in him, that he 
requested his attendance at Philadelphia, to consult with him on the 
practicability and best means of civilizing the southern Indians ; and 


he also offered him the command of a brigade of light troops, under 
the command of General Wayne, in his campaigns against the 
northern Indians ; which he declined. In 1794, when the militia 
was first organized conformable to the act of Congress, he was 
appointed one of the two major generals ; which commission he 
resigned after holding it a few years. He was employed by the 
United States as a commissioner in all the treaties with the southern 
Indians, until he withdrew from public life. 

Determining to enjoy that serenity and tranquillity which he had so 
greatly contributed to establish, with the simplicity of the early times 
of the Roman republic, he retired from the busy scenes of life, and 
settled on his farm at Tomussee, (a place peculiarly interesting to 
him,) where he devoted himself with little interruption to domestic 
pursuits and reflection until his death. In this tranquil period, few 
events happened to check the tenor of his happy and virtuous life. 
Revered and beloved by all, his house, though remote from the more 
frequented parts of the state, was still the resort of numerous friends 
and relations ; and often received the visits of the enlightened 
traveller. Such was the gentle current of his latter years ; still, of 
earthly objects, his country was the first in his affections. He viewed 
with great interest our late struggle, and the causes which excited it, 
distinctly perceiving, that in its consequences the prosperity, inde- 
pendence and glory of his country were deeply involved; he was 
alive to its various incidents. In this hour of danger the eyes of his 
fellow citizens were again turned to their tried servant ; without his 
knowledge he was again called by the spontaneous voice of his fel- 
low citizens into public service. Confidence thus expressed could 
not be disregarded ; he accepted a seat in the legislature in 1812, and 
was pressed to serve as governor at this eventful crisis, which, with 
his characteristic moderation and good sense, he declined. He 
thought the struggle should be left to more youthful hands. 

General Pickens died in South Carolina, on the 1 1th of October, 

In his domestic circumstances he was fortunate : by industry and 
attention he soon acquired a competency ; and never desired more. 
He married in early life, has left a numerous and prosperous off- 
spring, and his consort, the sister of John E. Calhoun, formerly a 
senator in Congress, died but a few years before him. 

Of his private character little need be said ; for among its strong- 
est features was simplicity without contrariety or change ; from his 
youth to age he was ever distinguished for a punctual performance 
of all the duties of life. He was from early life a firm believer in 
the christian religion, and an influential member of the Presby- 



terian church. The strong points of his character were decision 
and prudence, accompanied, especially in youth, with remarkable 
taciturnity. He was of middle stature, active and robust ; and en- 
joyed, in consequence of the natural goodness of his constitution, and 
from early and combined temperance and activity, almost uninter- 
rupted health to the last moments of his life. He retained much 
of his strength and nearly all his mental vigor in perfection ; and 
died, not in consequence of the exhaustion of nature, or previous 
sickness ; for the stroke of death fell suddenly, and while his personal 
acquaintances were anticipating the addition "^ many years to his 



native of New York, a member 
of one of the most respectable 
families in that state, and highly 
merits the cjiaracter of an intel- 
ligent and meritorious officer. As a private 
gentleman, he was dignified but courteous, 
his manners urbane, and his hospitality un- 
bounded. He was justly considered as one 
of the most distinguished champions of 
liberty, and his noble mind soared above 
despair, even at a period when he experienced injustice from the 
public, and when darkness and gloom overspread the land. He was 
able, prompt, and decisive, and his conduct in every branch of duty, 
marked his active industry and rapid execution. 

He received his commission from Congress, June 19th, 1776, and 
was ordered to take command of the expedition against Canada ; 
but, being taken sick, the command devolved upon General Mont- 



gomery. On his recovery, he devoted his time, and with the assist- 
ance of General St. Clair, used every effort to stay the progress of a 
veteran and numerous army under Burgoyne, who had commenced 
his march from Canada, on the bold attempt of forming a junction at 
Albany with Sir Henry Clinton. 

The duties of General Schuyler now became laborious, intricate, 
and complicated. On his arrival at head-quarters he found the army 
of the north not only too weak for the objects intrusted to it, but 
also badly supplied with arms, clothes, and provisions. From a spy 
he obtained information that General Burgoyne had arrived at Que- 
bec, and was to take command of the British force on their contem- 
plated expedition. 

A few days removed the doubts which might have existed respect- 
ing the intentions of Burgoyne. It was understood that his army 
was advancing towards the lakes. 

Genera] Schuyler was sensible of the danger which threatened his 
department, and made every exertion to meet it. He visited in per- 
son the different posts, used the utmost activity in obtaining supplies 
of provisions to enable them to hold out in the event of a siege, and 
had proceeded to Albany both for the purpose of attending to the 
supplies, and of expediting the march of Nixon's brigade, whose 
arrival was expected ; when he received intelligence from General 
St. Clair, who was intrusted with the defence of Ticonderoga, that 
Burgoyne had appeared before that place. 

N the course of the preceding winter a 
plan for penetrating to the Hudson from 
Canada by the way of the lakes, was 
completely digested, and its most minute 
parts arranged in the cabinet of St. 
James. Genera] Burgoyne, who assisted 
in forming, it, was intrusted with its 
execution, and was to lead a formidable 
army against Ticonderoga, as soon as 
the season would permit. At the same 
time, a smaller party, under Colonel St. Leger, composed of Cana- 
dians, new raised Americans, and a few Europeans, aided by a power- 
ful body of Indians, was to march from Oswego to enter the country 
by the way of the Mohawk, and to join the grand army on the 

The force assigned for this service was such as the general him- 
self deemed sufficient ; and, as it was the favorite plan of the min- 
ister, no circumstance was omitted which could give to the numbers 
employed their utmost possible efficacy. The troops were furnished 


with every military equipment which the service required ; the as- 
sisting general officers were of the first reputation, and the train of 
artillery was, perhaps, the most powerful ever annexed to an army 
not more numerous. 

But valor, perseverance and industry could avail nothing against 
such vast numbers as now assailed the northern army. Ticonderoga 
was evacuated, and stores, artillery, and military equipage to an im- 
mense amount, fell into the hands of the enemy. 

Knowing the inferiority of his numbers, and that he could only 
hope to save his army by the rapidity of his march, General St. Clair 
reached Charlestown, thirty miles from Ticonderoga, on the night 
succeeding the evacuation of the fort. 

On the 7th of July, at Stillwater, on his way to Ticonderoga, 
General Schuyler was informed of the evacuation of that place, and 
on the same day, at Saratoga, the total loss of the stores at Skeens- 
borough, was also reported to him. From General St. Clair he had 
heard nothing, and the most serious fears were entertained for the 
army commanded by that officer. His force, after being joined by 
Colonel Long, consisted of about fifteen hundred continental troops, 
and the same number of militia. They were dispirited by defeat, 
without tents, badly armed, and had lost a great part of their stores 
and baggage. That part of the country was generally much alarmed, 
and even those who were well affected, discovered, as is usual in 
such circumstances, more inclination to take care of themselves than 
to join the army. 

In this gloomy state of things it is impossible that any officer 
could have used more diligence or judgment than was displayed by 

After the evacuation of Fort Anne, Burgoyne found it absolutely 
necessary to suspend for a time all further pursuit, and to give his 
army some refreshment. 

In the present state of things, unable even to looic the enemy in 
the face, it was of unspeakable importance to the American general 
to gain time. This short and unavoidable interval from action, there- 
fore, was seized by Schuyler, whose head-quarters were at Fort 
Edward, and used to the utmost advantage. 

The country between Skeensborough and Fort Edward was almost 
entirely unsettled, covered with thick woods, of a surface extremely 
rough, and much intersected with creeks and morasses. As far as 
Fort Anne, Wood creek was navigable with batteaux ; and artillery, 
military stores, provisions and heavy baggage might be transported 
up it. 

The first moments of rest, while Burgoyne was reassembling his 



forces at Skeensborough, were employed by Schuyler in destroying 
the navigation of Wood creek, by sinking numerous impediments in 
its course, and in breaking up the bridges, and othervi^ise rendering 
impassable the roads over which the British army must necessarily 
march. He was also indefatigable in driving all the live-stock out 
of the way, and in bringing from Fort George to Fort Edward, am- 
munition and other military stores which had been deposited at that 
place, of which his, army was in much need, and which it was essen- 
tial to bring away before the British could remove their gun-boats 
and army into the lake, and possess themselves of the fort. 

While thus endeavoring to obstruct the march of the enemy, he 
was not inattentive to the best means of strengthening his own army. 
Reinforcements of regular troops were earnestly sohcited. The 
militia of New England and New York were called for, and all his 
influence in the surrounding country was exerted to reanimate the 
people, and to prevent their defection from the American cause. 

I HE evacuation of Ticonderoga was a 
shock for which no part of the United 
States was prepared. Neither the 
strength of the invading army nor of 
the garrison had been anywhere under- 
stood. The opinion was common that 
no reinforcements had arrived at Que- 
bec that spring, in which case it was 
believed that not more than five thou- 
sand men could be spared from the 
defence of Canada. Those new raised 
regiments of New England and New 
York, which had been allotted to the northern department, had been 
reported, and were believed by the commander-in-chief, and by Con- 
gress, as well as by the community at large, to contain a much greater 
number of eflectives than they were found actually to comprehend. 
In addition to these, the officer commanding the garrison, was empow- 
ered to call to his aid such bodies of militia as he might deem necessary 
for the defence of his post. A very few days before the place was 
invested. General Schuyler, from an inspection of the muster rolls, 
had stated the garrison to amount to five thousand men, and the 
supply of provisions to be abundant. When, therefore, it was under- 
stood that a place, on the fortifications of which much money and 
labor had been expended ; which was considered as the key to the 
whole western country, and supposed to contain a garrison nearly 
equal to the invading army, had been abandoned without a siege ; 
that an immense train of artillery, consisting of one hundred and 



twenty-eight pieces, and all the baggage, military stores, and provi- 
sions, had either fallen into the hands of the enemy, or been destroyed ; 
that the army on its retreat had been attacked, defeated, and dis- 
persed ; astonishment pervaded all ranks of men ; and the conduct 
of the officers was almost universally condemned. Congress directed 
a recall of all the generals of the department, and an inquiry into 
their conduct. Through New England especially, the most malignant 
aspersions were cast on them, and General Schuyler, who, from 
some unknown cause, had never been viewed with favor in that part 
of the continent, was involved in the common charges of treachery, 
to which this accumulation of unlooked for calamity was very gener- 
ally attributed by the mass of the people. 

On the representations of General Washington, the recall of the 
officers was suspended until he should be of opinion that the state of 
things would admit of such a measure ; and on inquiry afterward 
made into the conduct of the generals, they were acquitted of all 
blame. When the resolutions were passed, directing an inquiry into the 
conduct of Schuyler and St. Clair, appointing a committee to report 
on the mode of conducting the inquiry, and, in the meanwhile, recall- 
ing them and all the brigadiers who had served in that department, 
General Washington was requested to name a successor to Schuyler. 
On his expressing a wish to decline this nomination, and representing 
the inconvenience of removing all the general officers. Gates was 
again directed to repair thither and take the command ; and the reso- 
lution to recall the brigadiers was suspended, until the commander- 
in-chief should be of opinion that it might be carried into effect with 
safety. Schuyler retained the command until the arrival of Gates, 
which was about the 21st of August, and continued his exertions to 
restore the affairs of the d^epartment, which had been so much de- 
pressed by the losses consequent on the evacuation of Ticonderoga. 
That officer felt acutely the disgrace of being recalled in this critical 
and interesting state of the campaign, but nobly submitted to the 
decision of his superiors in rank. 

If error be attributed to the evacuation of Ticonderoga, certainly 
no portion of it was committed by Schuyler. His removal from the 
command was probably unjust and severe, as the measure respected 
himself. The patriotism and magnanimity displayed by the ex- 
general, on this occasion, does him high honor. All that could have 
been effected to impede the progress of the British army, had been 
done already. Bridges were broken up, causeways destroyed, trees 
felled in every direction, to retard the conveyance of stores and 

On Gates's arrival. General Schuyler, without the slightest indica 



tion of ill-humor, resigned his command, communicated all the intel- 
ligence he possessed, and put every interesting paper into his hands, 
simply adding, " I have done all that could be done, as far as the 
means* were in my power, to injure the enemy and to inspire confi- 
dence in the soldiers of our own army, and I flatter myself with 
some success ; but the palm of victory is denied me, and it is left to 
you, general, to reap the fruits of my labors. I will not fail, how- 
ever, to second your views ; and my devotion to my country will 
cause me with alacrity to obey all your orders." He performed his 
promise, and faithfully did his duty, till the surrender of Burgoyne 
put an end to the contest. Another anecdote is recorded to his honor. 
General Burgoyne, dining with General Gates, immediately after the 
convention of Saratoga, and hearing General Schuyler named among 
the officers presented to him, thought it necessary to apologize for the 
destruction of his elegant mansion a few days before, by his orders. 
" Make no excuses, general," was the reply ; " I feel myself more 
than compensated by the pleasure of meeting you at this table." The 
court of inquiry, instituted on the conduct of Generals Schuyler and 
St. Clair, resulted with the highest honor to them. General Schuy- 
ler, though not invested with any distinct command, continued to 
render important services in the military transactions of New York, 
until the close of the war. 

He was a member of the old Congress ; and represented the state 
of New York in the senate of the United States, when the present 
government commenced its operations. In 1797 he was again ap- 
pomted a senator. He died at Albany, November 18th, 1804, in the 
seventy-third year of his age. 

General Scliuyler's Residence, Schuyleryille, 


From an original painting at the Wadsworth Athenseum, Hartford, Connecticut. 


J^ im ^M i HE brief notice which our limits permit us to insert 
i ^^ \ I °^ *^^^ gentleman's services to his country, is ex- 
i lllol ^ tracted from an Address delivered before the Con- 
necticut Historical Society, by their president, the 
Honorable Thomas D^y. 

Jeremiah Wadsvi^orth was born at Hartford, on the 
12th of July, 1743. His father died when he was 
but a little more than four years old. Tradition says 
of him, that in his early youth, he was inclined to 
action and sport, rather than to study. While he was yet of a tender 
age, his mother placed him under the care and in the service of her 
brother, Matthew Talcot, Esq., a merchant in Middletown, exten- 
sively concerned in navigation. When he was about eighteen years 
of age, he was taken with spitting blood ; and his flesh began to 
waste away. Under these circumstances, he, by the advice of his 
friends, readily accepted the place of a seaman before the mast, in 
one of his uncle's vessels. Here he soon recovered his health. 
After several voyages — generally short ones — in this capacity, he 


became, first the mate, and afterwards the master of a vessel. He 
was thus at sea at least ten years. Faithful and efficient in his busi- 
ness, he won the confidence and esteem of his employer, and of all 
who had dealings with him. 

During the latter part of this period, he married Miss Mehitabel 
Russell, daughter of the Rev. William Russell of Middletown. 
After his mother's death in 1773, he, with his family — a wife and 
three children — removed to Hartford, and occupied, in common with 
his sisters, the paternal mansion-house. 

The Revolutionary war, which commenced when he was about 
thirty-two years old, deprived him of his employment at sea. But 
he had become too much a man of business to be idle. It was seen, 
that his experience and tact in buying and selling cargoes, might be 
turned to a profitable account — profitable to his country as well as 
to himself — in furnishing supplies for the army. He was offered the 
place of deputy-commissary under Colonel Joseph Trumbull, which 
he accepted ; and so satisfactorily did he execute its duties, that on 
the resignation of his principal, not long afterwards, he was appointed, 
by Congress, as his successor in office. After the arrival of the 
French troops, he became commissary of the French army, and 
acted in that capacity until the close of the war. 

His official situation, his knowledge of the country and its re- 
sources, his insight into the characters and motives of men, and his 
sound common sense on all subjects, rendered it useful, not to say 
necessary, for the principal officers of the American and French 
army to hold frequent consultations with him. He shared largely 
in their confidence — especially in that of the commander-in-chief. 
Hence they were often his guests ; and his house was always open 
to them. The following apostrophe to this house after its removal, 
is not less authentic as a record of historical facts, than its diction is 
graceful : 

" Fallen dome — ^beloved so well, 
Thou could'st many a legend tell 
Of the chiefs of ancient fame, 
Who, to share thy shelter, came. 
Rochambeau and La Fayette 
Round thy plenteous board have met, 
With Columbia's mightier son. 
Great and glorious Washington. 
Here, with kindred minds, they plann'd 
Rescue for an infant land ; 
While the British Uon's roar 
Echo'd round the lelgur'd shore." 

Let me add, in my own plain prose, that General Washington was 
enjoying the hospitality of this house, with Count de Rochambeau, 
ait the time Arnold was perpetrating treason at West Point, and 


Colonel WadswoTth-'s Vovage to France. 

returned to take a hasty breakfast at the traitor's table, an hour after 
he had fled from it, and immediately before the discovery of his 

In July, 1783, after the cessation of hostilities and a few weeks 
before the treaty of peace was signed, Colonel Wadsworth embarked 
for France, for the purpose of rendering an account of his adminis- 
tration to the proper officers of the French government, and obtain- 
ing a final settlement with them. He arrived in France in August, 
after a passage of twenty-seven days. So correctly had his accounts 
been kept, and so satisfactory had his official conduct been, that a 
settlement was effected without difficulty ; and the large balance in 
'his favor was honorably paid. In the latter part of March, 1784, 
he left France, and passed over to England, where he remained until 
some time in July following. Thence he went to Ireland, where he 
spent about six weeks ; and then returned to America. He arrived 
in Delaware Bay, after a passage of fifty-six days. 

A considerable part of the funds he received from the French 
government he invested in French, English and Irish goods, which 
he brought home and sold in Hartford and Philadelphia. This, with 
the care and management of his other property, afforded him suffi- 
cient employment in the way of business, without trenching upon his 
social and domestic enjoyments. , 

During this period, he caused some improvements in the agricul- 
ture of his neighborhood, by successful experiments on his own land. 
He also introduced into the state breeds both of horses and horned 
cattle, superior to those which had been previously raised here. 


When the constitution of the United States was referred to the 
people of the several states for their consideration, he was elected a 
member of the convention of this state from his native town, and 
not only took a deep interest in its proceedings, but largely shared 
its labors and responsibilities. Though his education and habits had 
not especially fitted him for public debate, yet his natural good sense 
surmounted every difficulty of this sort, and he became an efficient 
advocate of the constitution. After its' adoption, he was elected a 
member of the first Congress, with such men as Roger Sherman, 
Jonathan Trumbull and others, for his colleagues. He was re-elected 
to the second Congress, and afterwards- to the third. After serving 
his state and country, in this capacity, for six years, he resigned his 
seat, or declined a further election. In May, 1795, the next session 
of the general assembly of this state after the expiration of the third 
Congress, he was chosen a representative of his native town in the 
popular branch, and was, at the same time, elected by the freemen 
of the state an assistant, or member of the council. He took his seat 
in the latter body, and was annually re-elected to that station until 
1801, when, at his own request, he was omitted. He died on the 
30th of April, 1804, leaving a widow and two children — a son and 
a daughter. 

I have not time, if I had the requisite materials and qualifications, 
for a full dehneation of his character. It may be sufficient for the 
present occasion to mention a few characteristic qualities, which 
those who knew him best love to cherish in their memories. To a 
sunny cheerfulness of temper he united very vivid recollections of 
past events, combining important historical truths with pleasant anec- 
dotes ; and these he related so well as to entertain and delight his 
hearers. He was a most firm friend ; and to those whom he loved 
his generosity was unbounded, whilst his firmness and integrity kept 
at bay the inquisitive and the intriguing. He gave encouragement 
to industrious people by advice, and when their necessities required 
it, by pecuniary assistance. No man, since the days of Job, could 
with more truthfulness appropriate his declaration — " I was a father 
to the poor ; and the cause which I knew not I searched out." 
Colonel Humphreys, than whom few had better opportunities of 
knowing him, says — " He was always the protector and the guardian 
of the widow, the fatherless and the distressed." In relation to his 
public character, the same distinguished witness testifies as follows : 
" No man in this country was ever better acquainted with its re- 
sources, or the best mode of drawing them forth for the public use. 
His talents for and dispatch of business, was unrivalled. His services, 
at some periods of the war, were incalculable." 



M. De Warville, a respectable French gentleman, who travelled 
in this country in 1788, thus speaks of him : " Hartford is the resi- 
dence of one of. the most respectable men in the United States — 
Colonel Wadsworth. He enjoys a considerable fortune, which he 
owes entirely to his own labor and industry. Perfectly versed in 
commerce and agriculture ; universally known for the service he 
rendered the American and French armies during the war ; gene- 
rally esteemed and beloved for his great virtues, he crowns all his 
qualities by an amiable and singular modesty. His address is frank, 
his countenance open, and his discourse simple. Thus you cannot 
fail to love him as soon as you see him." 

I will conclude this im.perfect sketch by adopting the general 
summary, which appeared in one of the public prints of this city, 
immediately after his decease : " In all the public and private rela- 
tions of life, he was esteemed and respected. By his death, his 
family have lost a tender, affectionate and beloved relative ; the 
poor a kind and beneficent father ; the town its greatest benefactor, 
and the country one of its firmest friends and most able and faithful 

Monument of General Mercer, at Laurel Hill Cemetery. 


;E are indebted for the facts 
contained in the following 
notice, to the address of 
Wilham B. Reed, Esq., de- 
livered on the occasion of 
the re-interment of General Mercer's 
remains, at Laurel Hill, in 1840. 

Hugh Mercer was born near Aber- 
deen, in Scotland, about the year 1723 ; 
emigrated to America in the year 1747, 
in consequence of his participation in 
the rebellion of the Scotch in favor of the Pretender, Charles Edward, 
in the tv^'o preceding years. To enter the service of that unfortunate 
prince he had quitted his occupation as a physician ; encountering 
the dread penalties of treason, to aid the rebel cause by his example, 
and its sick and wounded supporters by his surgical skill. In the 

unfortunate battle of Culloden, the cause of Charles Edward was 




lost ; he himself, became a wanderer, and exile offered the only safety 
to his faithful followers. ** 

Among these, none was more worthy or more devoted than Hugh 
Mercer, who buried himself, the memory of his sin, in the western 
frontier of Pennsylvania, near where now stands the town of Mer- 
cersburg, in Franklin county. 

His history presents a complete blank from this time until the 
breaking out of the French and Indian wa in 1755, when we find 
him engaged as a captain in a provincial force of three hundred men, 
led by Colonel John Armstrong. This body of troops, organized 
and equipped by the legislature of Pennsylvania, marched in 1756, 
from Fort Shirley to the Alleghany river, through a hostile country, 
and reached the Indian town of Kittaning, within twenty-five miles 
of the French garrison at Fort Du Quesne, without making their 
advance known to the enemy. The town was immediately assaulted, 
and after a short and bloody conflict carried by storm, and totally 
destroyed. The principal Indian chiefs were killed in the battle ; 
the provincial officers of rank were nearly all wounded. " Captain 
Mercer's company," says the covenanter-like report of Colonel Arm- 
strong — " himself and one man wounded — seven killed — himself and 
ensign are missing." It was even so. He had been severely wounded 
in the engagement, and carried to the rear, and was accidentally left 
behind by the little army when it set out on its return. On the night 
after the battle, he found himself deserted and wounded, obliged to 
make his way alone to the settlements, with death by a hundred 
chances ; — by his wound, by wild beasts, by the hands of his more 
wild enemies, and by starvation — all before him. But his spirit sunk 
not at the prospect. After reposing a few hours upon the battle-field, 
he set out upon his fearful pilgrimage. For weeks he wandered 
through the forest, depending for sustenance upon its roots and 
berries, and finally, when his strength seemed completely exhausted, 
he reached Fort Cumberland, , 

REAT must have been the suffer- 
ings of Mercer on this occasion, 
as we learn by the narrative of 
one who was acquainted with the 
facts, that he actually killed a 
rattle-snake and subsisted entirely on its 
flesh during several days previous to his 
arrival at Fort Cumberland. 

In the capacity of a lieutenant-colonel, he 
accompanied the army of General Forbes, 
and was left by him in charge of Fort Du Ques:ne after its reduction. 


It was on this expedition that he first became acquainted with the 
Virginia Colonel, George Washington. The nature of the trust 
confided to Colonel Mercer at this time, may be learnt from a letter 
written by Washington to Governor Fauquier, in December, 1751. 
" The general," says he, " has in his letters, told you what garrison 
he proposed to leave at Fort Du Quesne, but the want of provisions 
rendered it impossible to leave more than two hundred men in all ; 
and these must, I fear, abandon the place or perish. Our men left 
there are in such a miserable condition, having hardly rags to cover 
their nakedness, and exposed to the inclemency of the weather in 
this rigorous season, that sickness, death, and desertion, if they are 
not speedily supplied, must destroy them." Colonel Mercer, how- 
ever, kept the garrison together, and maintained the post until it was 
relieved, when he retired from the service, and resumed the practice 
of his profession in Fredericksburg, in Virginia. 

Foremost among the citizens of Virginia to enrol his name on the 
list of those who were ready to raise the standard of freedom. Colonel 
Mercer drew upon himself the public attention, and in June, 1776, 
he was presented by Congress with a commission as a brigadier- 
general, most probably at the instance of General Washington him- 
self. General Mercer accepted the appointment, left his home, his 
wife and children, as it proved, forever, and joined the army at New 
York. During the eventful campaign of 1776, and the retreat 
through the Jerseys, General Mercer was in the most active service 
under the immediate orders of General Washington. And when, 
in the words of Washington himself, the game seemed nearly up, he 
shared the confidence and firmness of the commander-in-chief, and 
concerted with him and Generals Greene and Reed the change in 
the policy of the war, which first manifested itself in the no less 
desperate than successful attack upon the Hessians at Trenton. 

On the night of the second of January, 1777, when the two hostile 
armies lay at Trenton, expecting a battle in the morning, a council 
of war was assembled to consider the alternative of a battle with an 
overwhelming force, burning to revenge the Hessians, or an impracti- 
cable dispiriting retreat. At that council. General Mercer proposed 
to boldly abandon the field, and march upon Princeton and the maga- 
zines at Brunswick. It seemed again the counsel of despair, but it 
was supported by the voice of reason and brave determination, and 
it was adopted without dissent. The officers hastened to the head 
of their troops, and the daring plan was successfully executed 
before the dawn of day. The tired soldiers of Britain slept soundly 
in their tents, in anticipation of an easy victory on the morrow, while 
their well disciplined sentinels listened in the still, cold night for any 



evidence of retreat on the part of the Americans. They could not 
be deceived. There w^ere the American fires ; the American senti- 
nels plainly seen by their light, marching steadily to and fro, and all 
the night long American soldiers worked noisily in their intrench- 
ments. At daybreak, the sound of cannon announced that Washington 
was at Princeton. General Mercer led the van in the night march. At 
the dawn of day, a large body of British troops was discovered on the 
march to Trenton, and Mercer boldly threw his brigade between them 
and their reserve at Princeton, to force on a general action. Colonel 
Hazlet, however, fell, mortally wounded, by the first fire, and his 
troops were thrown into momentary disorder, while General Mer- 
cer's horse was killed, and he was left alone and dismounted upon 
the field. Single-handed, he encountered a detachment of the enemy. 
He was beaten to the earth with the butt ends of their muskets, 
and savagely and mortally stabbed with their bayonets. General 
Washington then restored the battle, and won the victory by his 
personal exposure and daring gallantry, and when the brief struggle 
was ended, General Mercer was found upon the field, bleeding and 
insensible, by his aid. Major Armstrong, the son of the colonel under 
whom Mercer had served at Kittaning. He was carried to a neighbor- 
ing farm house, where he lingered in extreme suffering until the 12th 
of January, when he expired in the arms of Major Lewis, the nephew 
of Washington. His body w^as brought to Philadelphia on the 14th 
of January, and buried in Christ Church graveyard ; whence it was 
taken, on the 26th of November, 1840, and reinterred with appro- 
priate ceremonies at Laurel Hill cemetery, Philadelphia. 

Tho house where Geneial Mercer died. 


Philadelphia, in 1744, was a 
descendant of one of the first 
settlers of Pennsylvania. He 
passed through the usual col- 
legiate course with honor, and was then 
placed in the counting-house of William 
Coleman, of whom Dr. Franldin has 
said that he possessed " the coolest, 
clearest head, the best heart, and the 
exactest morals of almost any man he 
ever met with." At the age of twenty-one, Thomas Mifflin made a 
voyage to Europe, and visited several parts of it with a view to his 
own improvement. On his return, he entered into business with one 
of his brothers, and his talents and manners soon made him a favor- 
ite with his fellow-citizens. In 1772, when he was only twenty- 
eight years old, he was chosen as one of the two burgesses who 




represented the city of Philadelphia in the provincial legislature , 
and he gave so much satisfaction to his constituents by his course as 
to be re-elected in the following year, Benjamin Franklin being at 
this time chosen as his colleague. In 1774, he wb-s appointed by 
the legislature a delegate to the first Congress, in which, as its pro- 
ceedings were kept secret, we can only infer the activity of Mifflin 
by the frequency with which his name appears upon its committees. 
A town meeting was called in Philadelphia upon receipt of the 
news of the battle of Lexington, to which Mr. Mifflin delivered a 
very animated address. He urged upon his fellow-citizens a steady 
adherence to the resolutions that were adopted. 

ET us not be bold," he said, " in 
declarations, and afterwards cold 
in action. Let not the patriotic 
feelings of to-day be forgotten 
, to-morrow, nor have it be said 
of Philadelphia that she passed 
noble resolutions, slept upon 
them, and afterwards neglected 
them." What he thus recom- 
mended to others, he put in 
practice himself. He was ap- 
pointed major of one of the vol- 
unteer regiments that were formed for domestic defence. He panted, 
however, for more active service, and flew to Boston, where the 
poorly-equipped army of America, confined itself to blockading the 
British under General Gage in the town of Boston. A detachment 
of the enemy having been sent to Lechmore's point for the purpose 
of collecting cattle, Mifflin led a party to oppose them, and with 
half-disciplined militia succeeded in driving back the British regu- 
lars. General Craig, who witnessed this achievement, stated that 
he " never saw a greater display of personal bravery, than was ex- 
hibited on this occasion, in the cool and intrepid conduct of Colonel 

Shortly after the evacuation of Boston, Mifflin was appointed to 
the rank of brigadier-general, by Congress, at his age one of the 
highest honors. During the whole revolutionary war, however, he 
had scarcely an opportunity of distinguishing himself, being engaged 
upon the necessary and responsible but irksome duty of quarter- 
master-general. At any time, the acceptance of this office by a man 
of an active military spirit is an act of self-denial. To General 
Mifflin it was particularly so, as he had to organize a new depart- 
ment in a disordered and impoverished state of the country, certain 


that almost every measure either offended the people or disappointed 
the government. This duty General Mifflin found to be the most 
obnoxious to his feelings, and for a time the most prejudicial to his 
character of any that he was called upon to perform. Congress, 
however, entertained so high an opinion of his talents as to place 
his name with those of Washington and Gates, when they directed 
a committee to have a conference touching the frontiers towards 

In November, 1776, General Washington sent him from Newark 
with a confidential letter to Congress, who directed him to remain 
near them, that they might avail themselves of his information and 
judgment. When the American army lay opposite Trenton, fearing 
and expecting dissolution. General Mifflin was directed to proceed 
through the adjacent counties, " to exhort and rouse the militia to 
come forth in defence of their country." A committee of the Penn- 
sylvania legislature accompanied him. He set out immediately, 
assembled the people in every suitable place, and from the pulpit in 
the church, the bench in the court, and in the meeting-house, every 
where his eloquence was exerted with the happiest effect. The cap- 
ture of the Hessians spread a gleam of sunshine over the country 
which aided his efforts, and he was soon enabled to make quite a 
respectable addition to the army in New Jersey. Congress testified 
their sense of his services by conferring on him, in February, 1777, 
the rank of major-general. In the course of this year his health 
became so much impaired by the incessant fatigue of his department 
that he requested leave to resign, which was not only refused, but 
his duties were increased by being appointed a member of a new 
board of war. Until the close of the Revolution he labored in the 
cause, without so much glory, perhaps, as others, but not less use- 
fully. He retained his hold upon the affections of his fellow citizens, 
and the confidence of the legislature, who appointed him, in 1783, a 
member of Congress. On the 3d of November, in that year, he was 
elevated to the dignified station of president of that body. In this 
capacity he received at Annapolis, from the first of his countrymen, 
the resignation of that commission which had borne him to immortal 
glory, and his country to independence. The scene was highly 
affecting, and the feelings of those who witnessed it were yet more 
excited by the dignified address of the commander-in-chief, and the 
manly and simple eloquence of President Mifflin's reply. 

General Mifflin was afterwards a member of the supreme execu- 
tive council of Pennsylvania, and president of the convention for 
the formation of the state constitution. He was elected the first 
governor under the new constitution, and he held this office nine 



years. It being limited to that extent, he was elected to the state 
legislature a short time before the close of his term, and died while 
attending the sittings of that body, at Lancaster, on the 21st of 
January, 1800, in the fifty-seventh year of his age. 

Almost the only incident of his administration which called for 
unusual conduct was the "whiskey insurrection of 1794," and 
General Mifflin put himself at the head of that portion of the Penn- 
sylvania militia which went on the service, under the orders of 
General Lee, governor of Virginia, who, during the war, had been his 
inferior in rank. In this he exhibited a praiseworthy compliance 
with the constitution of the United States, which, rendering the 
president commander-in-chief, authorized him to assign particular 
services to such officers as he thought proper. 

In view of his Vi^hole character, the sincerity of his attachment 
to the cause of his country, and the sacrifice of his whole life to her 
service, may justify us in excusing the single error of his career, his 
connection with the cabal against General Washington. This stain 
upon his memory has led the historians of our country, and biogra- 
phers of her great men, too frequently to pass by in silence his many 
and arduous services, and good feeling displayed by him towards 
General Washington in the subsequent portion of his life. Who has 
not his faults ? 

In concluding this sketch of the life of General Mifflin, we quote 
the words of the celebrated William Rawle: — " Thus ended the che- 
quered career of Thomas Mifflin — brilliant in its outset — troubled 
and perplexed at a period more advanced — again distinguished, pros- 
perous, and happy — finally clouded by poverty, and oppressed by 
creditors. In patriotic principle, never changing — in public action, 
never faltering — in personal friendship, sincerely warm — in relieving 
the distressed, always active and humane — in his own affairs, impro- 
vident — in the business of others, scrupulously just." 


AVID HUMPHREYS was bom in the yeai 
1753, in the town of Derby, in the state 
of Connecticut. His father, Daniel Hum 
phreys, who was the pastor of the Presby- 
terian church in that town, sent his son to 
Yale College, where he entered as a fresh- 
man in 1767. He graduated here in 1771, 
having during his stay formed habits of intimacy with 
Trumbull and Dwight, who united with him in exert- 
ing a talent for poetry in behalf of their country and 
her freedom. His active and ambitious character soon 
led him to seek an opportunity of being useful to his country in the 
field, and he entered the revolutionary army at an early period as a 
captain. In October, 1777, he was a major of brigade under General 
Parsons, at the time of the capture of Fort Montgomery, and he 
there probably formed an acquaintance with General Putnam, which 
led to his becoming an aid to that officer, in which capacity we find 
him acting in 1778. The honor of possessing the esteem and con- 
fidence of Parsons and Putnam would alone be sufficient proof of his 



worth ; but, in addition, he had the singular good fortune to be alHed 
on terms of family intercourse with Generals Greene and Washing- 
ton He was appointed aid and mihtary secretary to the commander- 
in-chief in the early part of 1780, after which he constantly resided 
with Washington, in the enjoyment of his confidence and friendship, 
and the participation in his arduous duties, until the close of the war. 

On the surrender of Cornwallis, the captured standards were 
delivered to his charge, and in November, 1781, Congress resolved, 
"that an elegant sword be presented in the name of the United States 
in Congress assembled, to Colonel Humphreys, aid-de-camp of 
General Washington, to whose care the standards taken under the 
capitulation of York were consigned, as a testimony of their opinion 
of his fidelity and ability ; and that the board of war take order 
thereon." This resolution was carried into effect in 1786, and the 
sword presented by General Knox, with a highly complimentary 
letter. Colonel Humphreys attended General W^ashington to Anna- 
polis, when the commander-in-chief went thither to resign his com- 

Colonel Humphreys, in a poem written shortly after the close of 
the war, alludes to his own agency in the struggle, in the following 
graceful lines : — 

" I, too, perhaps, should Heaven prolong my date, 
The oft-repeated tale shall oft relate ; 
Shall tell the feelings in the first alarms, 
Of some bold enterprise the unequalled charms ; 
Shall tell from whom I learnt the martial art, 
With what high chief I played my early part : 
With Parsons first, whose eye, with piercing ken. 
Reads through their hearts the characters of men •- 

Then how I aided, in the following scene. 
Death daring Putnam, then immortal Greene ; 
Then how great Washington my youth approved, 
In rank preferred, and as a parent loved. 

(For each fine feeling in his bosom blends - ' 

The first of heroes, patriots, sages, friends,) 
With him, what hours on warlike plans I spent 
Beneath the shadow of th' imperial tent. 
With him, how oft I went the nightly round, 
Through moving hosts, or slept on tented ground ; 
. From him, how oft, (nor far below the first 

In high behests and confidential trusts,) 
From him, how oft I bore the dread commands. 
Which destined for the fight the eager bands : 
With him, how oft I passed th' eventful day, 
Rode by his side, as down the long array, 
His awful voice the columns taught to form. 
To point the thunder, and to pour the storm." 

In July, 1784, Colonel Humphreys accompanied Thomas Jeffer- 
son in a visit to Europe, in the capacity of secretary to the commission 


for negotiating treaties of commerce with foreign powers. Afterwards, 
in 1787, he was actively employed in the suppression of " Shay's 
rebellion," as it was called. In 1788, while on a visit to Mount 
Vernon, he wrote, among other things, his celebrated " Life of Gene- 
ral Putnam." In 1789, he was employed in diplomatic service at 
home, and in 1790, he was sent to Portugal as minister. In 1797, 
he was transferred from the court of Lisbon to that of Madrid, where 
he continued until the year 1802. While minister to Spain, he super- 
intended the formation of treaties with Algiers and Tripoli. 

fEFORE returning to the United States, he 
purchased a flock of one hundred sheep, of 
the best merino breed, and forwarded them 
to America. Besides this important and 
valuable addition to the manufacturing inter- 
ests of the country, he introduced several 
Arabian horses and good varieties of English 
cattle. In testimonial of his labors in this 
useful field, the trustees of the Massachusetts 
Society for Promoting Agriculture, transmitted to him, in December, 
1802, a gold medal. 

From 1802 to 1812, Colonel Humphreys lived in private. At 
that time, he became a representative to the state legislature from 
the town of Derby, and bore an active part in organizing the state 
troops for purposes of local defence. In 1812, he took command 
of a corps of state troops composed of volunteers, exempt by law 
from military duty, of which he was created the special commander, 
with the rank of brigadier-general. His public services terminated 
with the limitation of that appointment. 

Colonel Humphreys received while in active life the honorary 
degree of Doctor of Laws from three American colleges, and was 
associated, as a member, with many literary institutions in Europe 
and America. The last years of his life were spent in New Haven 
and Boston, and were chiefly occupied with concerns of a private 
nature. He died of an organic disease of the heart, at New Haven, 
on the 21st of February, 1818, aged sixty-five years. His remains 
were interred in the burial ground of that city, and a lofty and 
durable granite monument has been erected over them. 

His biography in the National Portrait Gallery, upon which we 
have relied for the facts contained in the foregoing sketch of his life, 
furnishes the following personal description of him. " Colonel Hum- 
phreys was, in personal form, of lofty stature and commanding 
appearance ; and, whatever peculiarities may have blended with his 
manners and address, impressed those who viewed him even as 



strangers, with the conviction that he possessed high intellectual as 
well as physical powers. His early reputation as a scholar ; his 
indulgence in poetic enthusiasm, fostered by youthful associates of 
kindred feelings ; the countenance and support of the ablest officers 
of the Revolution ; his free admission to councils on which an em- 
pire's fate depended ; and finally, his long residence at European 
courts, were well adapted to affect the mind of a young man with 
sentiments of self-esteem that gave to his manners the appearance, 
perhaps, of vanity and ostentation. He was fond of dress and 
equipage ; and although his sentiments and public conduct were such 
as to prove his devoted attachment to republicanism, yet, like John 
Hancock, he was not insensible to the brilliancy of courtly style. 
His fondness for display, (since it must be acknowledged as a trait 
in his character,) is redeemed by the consideration that he made, on 
all occasions, his personal gratifications secondary and obedient to 
public duty. 



born at Lebanon, on the 6th 
of June, 1756. His father, 
Joseph Trumbull, was at a 
very early age placed at Har- 
vard College, where he became a dis- 
tinguished scholar, acquiring a sound 
knowledge of the Hebrew, I^atin and 
Greek languages. He graduated with 
honor in 1727. He died in 1785, 
having been governor of the state of 
Connecticut by annual election, during the entire war of the Revo- 
lution, and was the only person who, being first magistrate of a 
colony in America, before the separation from Great Britain, retained 
the confidence of his countrymen through the Revolution, and was 
annually re-elected governor to the end of that eventful period. 
The mother of Colonel Trumbull was the great grand-daughter of 



John Robinson, the father of the pilgrims, who led our Puritan an 
cestors out of England in the reign of James VI. and resided with 
them some years at Leyden in Holland, and in 1620 emigiated with 
them to Plymouth in Massachusetts, where, among other acts of 
wisdom and piety, was laid the foundation of that system of educa- 
tion in town schools, which has of later years become so widely 
extended in the United States, forming the glory and defence of the 

Colonel Trumbull, immediately after his birth, was attacked by 
convulsion fits, which recurred daily, and increased in violence and 
frequency till he was nearly nine months old, — the cause was hidden 
from the medical men of the vicinity, — when one of his father's 
^arly friends, Dr. Terry of Suffield, an eminent physician, called 
accidentally to make him a passing visit, and was requested to look 
at the unhappy child. lie immediately pronounced the disease to be 
caused by compression of the brain ; the bones of the skull, instead 
of uniting in the several sutures, and forming a smooth surface, had 
slipped over each other, forming sensible ridges on the head, by 
which means the brain not having room to expand, convulsions fol- 
lowed. He said that medicine was useless, and that nothing but the 
untiring care of the mother could effect the cure ; and this could be 
done only by applying her hands to the head of the child daily, and 
gently and carefully drawing the bones apart. If relief was not ob- 
tained by this means the child would die early, or should it live, 
would become an idiot. 

The instructions of Dr. Terry were followed by the mother of 
Trumbull with unremitted care ; by degrees favorable symptoms 
appeared, the convulsions became less and less frequent, until, at 
about three years old, the natural form of the head was restored, 
and they ceased entirely. 

Lebanon was long celebrated for having the best school in New 
England. It was kept by Nathan Tisdale, a native of the place, from 
the time he graduated at Harvard College to the day of his death, a 
period of thirty years, with an assiduity and fidelity of the most 
exalted character, and became so widely known that he had scholars 
from the West India Islands, Georgia, North and South Carolina, as 
well as from the New England and northern colonies. 

With this excellent scholar John Trumbull was placed at a very 
early age ; his early sufferings and his subsequent docility soon made 
him a favorite. 

John's mind, which had so long been repressed by disease, seemed 
to spring forward with increased energy as soon as the pressure upon 
the brain Avas removed. Pie early displayed a singular facility in 



acquiring knowledge, particularly of languages, so that at the age of 
six years he could read Greek with perfect ease. At this early age 
he had a contest with the late Rev. Joseph Ley man, pastor of Hat- 
field, in Massachusetts, a boy several years his senior. They read 
the first five verses of the Gospel of St. John ; Leyman missed one 
word, John not any, and therefore gained the victory. His know- 
ledge of the Greek language at this early age was very imperfect, 
but he knew the forms of the letters, the words, and their sounds, 
and could read them accurately. His taste for drawing began to 
dawn early ; but this was not the result of natural genius, but is 
traced by himself to mere imitation. His sister. Faith, had acquired 
some knowledge of drawing, and had even painted in oil two heads 
and a landscape. These were hung in his mother's parlor, and were 
among the first objects that struck his infant eye. He endeavored 
to imitate them, and for several years the nicely sanded floors, (for 
carpets were at that time unknown in Lebanon,) were constantly 
scrawled with his rude attempts at drawing. 

When John was five years old, an accident of a serious nature be- 
fel him. He, in playing with his sisters, fell headlong down a flight 
of stairs, and was taken up insensible ; the forehead over the left eye 
was severely bruised. He however soon recovered, but with the loss 
of sight of his left eye, the optic nerve of which must have been 
severely injured in the fall. 

When he was ten years of age, a circumstance occurred which 
deserves to be written upon adamant. Tn the wars of New England 
with the aborigines, the Mohegan tribe of Indians early became the 
friends of the English. The government of this tribe had become 
hereditary in the family of the celebrated chief Uncas. During the 
time of the mercantile prosperity of John's father, he had employed 
several Indians of this tribe in hunting animals, whose skins were 
valuable for their fur. Among these hunters was one named Zachary, 
of the royal race, an excellent hunter, but as drunken and worthless 
an Indian as ever lived. When he had passed the age of fifty, several 
members of the royal family who stood between Zachary and the 
throne of his tribe, died, and he found himself with only one life 
between him and empire. In this moment his better genius resumed 
its sway, and he reflected seriously, "How can such a drunken 
wretch as I am, aspire to be the chief of this honorable race — ^what 
will my people say — and how will the shades of my noble accestors 
look down indignant upon such abase successor? Can I succeed 
the great Uncas ? I will drink no more !" This resolution was never 

John had heard this story, but did not entirely believe it, for, young 



Tlie Indian Chief Zacliary', 

as he then was, he already partook in the prevaihng contempt for 
Indians. In the beginning of May, the annual election of the prin- 
cipal officers of the (then) colony was held at Hartford, the capital. 
Mr. Joseph Trumbull attended in an official capacity, and it was 
customary for the chief of the Mohegans also to attend. Zachary 
had. succeeded to the rule of his tribe, and the old chief was in the 
habit of coming a few days before the election, and. dining with his 
brother governor. While seated at dinner one day, John conceived 
the mischievous thought of trying the sincerity of the old man's 
temperance, and thus addressed him: — " Zachary, this beer is excel- 
lent ; will you taste it ?" The old man dropped his knife and fork, 
and his black eyes sparkled with indignation. " John," said he, 
"you do not know what you are doing. You are serving the devil, 
boy ! Do you not know that I am an Indian ? I tell you that I am, 
and that, if I should but taste your beer, I could never stop till I got 
to rum, and become again the drunken, contemptible wretch your 
father remembers me to have been. John, wliile you live, never 
again tempt any man to break a good resolution.'''' John's parents 
frequently reminded him of this scene, and charged him never to 
forget it. Zachary lived to pass the age of eighty, and sacredly kept 
his resolution. 

About this time the mercantile failure of John's father took place ; 
in one season nearly all his vessels and all the property he had upon 
the ocean were swept away, and he was a poor man at so late a 
ueriod of life, as left no hope of retrieving his affairs. The want of 
pocket money now prevented John from mingling much with his 



young companions, and he gradually acquired a solitary habit, and 
after school hours withdrew to his own room to a close study of his 
favorite pursuit, drawing. 

T the age of twelve years, John 
had advanced so rapidly in his 
studies, that he might have been 
admitted to enter college ; he 
was thoroughjy versed in the 
Latin and Greek languages, and 
in geography, both ancient and 
modern. He had also read with 
care, Rollin's and Crevier's his- 
tories. In arithmetic alone, he 
met with difficulties. He be- 
came puzzled by a sum in divi- 
sion, where the divisor consisted 
of three figures. At length, how- 
ever, the question was solved, 
and he went rapidly through the lower and higher branches of mathe- 
matics, so that when he had reached the age of fifteen and a half 
years, it was stated by his master, that he was fully qualified to enter 
Harvard College in the middle of the third or junior year. This was 
approved of by his father, and proposed to him. In the mean time, 
his fondness for drawing and painting had grown with his growth, 
and when his father informed him of his intention to place him at 
college, he ventured to remonstrate with him, and desired that he 
might be placed under the instruction of Mr. Copley, an eminent 
artist of Boston, father of Lord Lyndhurst, the late lord chancellor 
of England ; by this means he would possess a profession, and the 
means of supporting himself — perhaps of assisting the family. He 
was, however, overruled by his father, and in January, 177 2, was 
sent to Cambridge, passed the examination in form, and was readily 
admitted to the junior class, who were then in the middle of the 
third year, so that he had but one year and a half to remain in col- 
lege. During his stay at college he became acquainted with a French 
family residing at Cambridge. This family, besides the parents, com- 
prised several children of both sexes ; in their society Trumbull 
made good progress, and there laid the foundation of a knowledge of 
the French language, which in his after life was of eminent utility. 

Several paintings were executed by him during his stay in college, 
one of which received so much approbation from the professors and 
students of the college, that he ventured to show it to Mr. Copley, 
and had the pleasure to hear it commended by him also. In July, 


1773, he was graduated with honor, and returned to Lebanon. In 
the autumn of this year, 1773, Nathan Tisdale, his former master, 
had a stroke of paralysis which disabled him entirely from performing 
his duties. Trumbull, with the approbation of his father, took charge 
of the school until the following spring, when Mr. Tisdale had so far 
recovered as to be able to resume his invaluable labors. 

N the summer of 1774, the angry discussions 
between Great Britain and her colonies began 
to assume a very serious tone. 

Trumbull soon caught the growing enthu- 
siasm ; his father was now governor of the 
colony and a patriot. 

John Trumbull sought now for military in- 
formation, acquired what knowledge he could, 
and soon formed a company from among the young men of the school 
and the village, M;ho taught each other to use the musket and to 
march ; in fact, military exercises and studies became the favorite 
occupation of the day. 

In the latter part of April, 1775, Trumbull entered the army as 
adjutant of the first Connecticut regiment, which was stationed at 
Roxbury, near Boston, From this place he had a distant view of the 
battle of Bunker Hill. 

Soon after this battle, General Washington arrived and took com- 
mand of the army. On his arrival, Trumbull was informed that the 
commander-in-chief was desirous of obtaining a correct plan of the 
enemy's works in front of the Americans' position on Boston Neck. 

This plan was drawn by Trumbull, and shown to Washington, 
who was so well pleased with it, that he appointed Trumbull his 
second aid-de-camp. Trumbull now found himself in the family of 
one of the most distinguished and dignified men of his age, surrounded 
at his table by the principal officers of the arm.y, and in constant 
intercourse with them — it was also his duty to receive company, and 
do the honors of the house to many of the first people of the country, 
of both sexes. To this duty Trumbull found himself unequal, and 
was gratified when he received the appointment of major of brigade 
at Roxbury. In this situation he soon attracted the attention of 
Gates, and became in some degree a favorite with him. 

In June, 1776, Gates having been appointed to the command of 
the northern department, which was then understood to be Canada 
and the northern frontier, appointed Trumbull as one of his adjutants, 
with the rank of colonel. 

Colonel Trumbull proceeded with General Gates to Crown Point 
His first duty on his arrival at this place was to procure a return of 



the number and condition of the troops. He found the whole of offi- 
cers and men to be five thousand two hundred, and the sick that 
required the attentions of an hospital were two thousand eight hun- 
dred ; so that when they were sent ofT, v\ ith the number of men 
necessary to row them to the hospital, which had been established at 
the south end of Lake George, a distance of fifty miles, there would 
remain at Crown Point but the shadow of an army. This post was 
therefore abandoned, and the army fell back to Ticonderoga. 

While the army remained at this latter post, Colonel Trumbull 
assisted in completing its defences, and drew several plans of the 
same, for the American generals ; he also advised a new plan of 
defence, as the present, he said, was impracticable with an army of 
less than ten thousand men. His plan, although a correct one, was 
however rejected. 

OLONEL TRUMBULL remained with the 
northern division of the army till the latter 
part of November, at which time the greater 
part of the troops under General Gates pro- 
ceeded to Albany, and from thence to Newtown 
to join the forces under General Washington, 
where they arrived a few days before his glori- 
ous victory at Trenton. 
General Arnold and Colonel Trumbull were ordered to join the 
forces under General Spencer, at ProAddence. While at this post a 
slight misunderstanding occurred with respect to the date of the com- 
mission of Colonel Trumbull as adjutant-general, which caused him 
to resign. 

Immediately after his resignation he returned to Lebanon, resumed 
his pencil, and after some time went to Boston, where he thought he 
could pursue his studies to more advantage. There he hired the 
painting room built by Mr. Smibert, the patriarch of painting in 
America, and found in it several copies by him from celebrated pic- 
tures in Europe. These copies were very useful to him, as there 
remained in Boston no artist capable of giving him instruction, Mr. 
Copley having gone to Europe. 

At this period a club was formed in Boston of young men fresh 
from College. This club met in Colonel Trumbull's rooms, regaled 
themselves with a cup of tea instead of wine, and discussed subjects 
of literature, politics, and war. Among its members were Rufus 
King, Christopher Gore, Wilham Eustis, Thomas Dawes, and other 
men who in afterlife became distinguished. 

The war was a period little favorable to regular study and delibe 
rate pursuits ; Trumbull's habits were often desultory. A deep and 



settled regret of the military career from which he had been driven, 
and to which there appeared to be no possibility of an honorable re- 
turn, preyed upon his spirits ; and the sound of a drum would not 
unfrequently call from his eye an involuntary tear. 

In the year 1778, a plan was formed for the recovery of Rhode 
Island from the hands of the English, by the co-operation of the 
French fleet under the command of Count D'Estaing, and a body of 
American troops, under the command of General Sullivan. Colonel 
Trumbull seized this occasion to gratify his love of a militarv life, 
and offered his services to General Sullivan, as a volunteer aid-de- 
camp. His offer was accepted, and he attended him during the 
enterprise ; after which he returned to Boston and again resumed his 
pencil, pursuing the study of painting with great assiduity during the 
following year. His friends, however, were dissatisfied with his 
pursuit, and at length persuaded him to undertake the management 
of a considerable speculation, which required a voyage to Europe, 
and which (on paper) promised great results. They were to furnish 
funds, he to execute the plan and share with them the expected 

Colonel Trumbull, during his residence in Boston, became ac- 
quainted with Mr. Temple, afterwards Sir John, and consul genera] 
of Great Britain in New York. This gentleman was acquainted 
with Mr. West, in London, and strongly urged Trumbull to go there 
and study with him. Connected as Colonel Trumbull was, and hos- 
tile as his conduct had been, he did not believe this could be done 
with safety during the war ; but Mr. Temple was confident, that 
through the influence of his friends in London, permission could be 
obtained from the British government. Mr. Temple shortly after 
went to London, and before Colonel Trumbull was ready to embark 
on his commercial pursuit, he received information from him, " that 
if he chose to visit London for the purpose of studying the fine arts, 
no notice would be taken of his past life — that so long as he avoided 
all political intervention, and pursued the study of the arts with 
assiduity, he might rely upon being unmolested." 

Thus Colonel Trumbull found, that in the event of the failure of 
his mercantile project, the road was open for pursuing his study of 
the arts, with increased advantages. 

The number of his drawings and pictures executed before his first 
voyage to Europe, and before he had received any instruction other 
than was to be obtained from books, was sixty-eight. 

Colonel Trumbull embarked at New London about the middle of 
May, 1780, on board the French ship, La Negresse, of twenty-eight 
guns, bound to Nantes. 



TrumbuIL's VoyEige to Prance. 

The passage was a pleasant one ; they met neither enemy nor ac 
cident, and in about five w^eeks they approached the coast of France. 

As the ship stood across the bay towards the entrance of the Loire, 
and approached the land, Colonel Trumbull was very much struck 
with the total dissimilitude to the shores of America ; there, all was 
new, here everything bore marks of age ; the coast was lofty, the 
very rocks looked old ; and the first distinct object, was a large con 
vent, whose heavy walls seemed gray with age, and were surrounded 
by a noble grove of chestnut trees, apparently coeval with the building. 

On entering the city of Nantes, everything was new, — a new style 
of architecture — a sea-port of great bustle and activity — and a people 
whose appearance, manners, and language, were entirely strange. 
Colonel Trumbull remained but two or three days at Nantes, and 
then set out for Paris, en poste. Shortly after his arrival at Paris, 
he received information that Charleston in South Carolina had been 
taken, and that the British were overrunning the southern states, 
almost without opposition. 

This news was fatal to his commercial project, for his funds con- 



Dr. rranklin. 

sisted in public securities of Congress, the value of which was anni- 
hilated by adversity. He therefore remained but a short time in 
Paris, where he knew few except Dr. Franklin, and his son Temple 
Franklin ; John Adams, and his son John Q., then a boy at school, of 
tourteen ; and Mr. Strange, the eminent engraver, and his lady. 

Having obtained a letter of introduction to Mr. West, from Dr. 
Franklin, Trumbull set off for London. Immediately after his arrival, 
he gave Mr. Temple notice of it ; and through him the secretary of 
state received information of Trumbull's residence. 

Colonel Trumbull presented the letter of Dr. Franklin, to Mr. West, 
and was of course most kindly received. He remained with Mr. 
West until the 15th of November, 1780, when news arrived in Lon- 
don of the treason of General Arnold, and the death of Major Andre. 
A warrant was immediately issued for Trumbull's arrest, which was 
put in execution, and he was confined in Tothill-fields, Bridewell, 
where, although safely guarded, he was treated with marked civility 
and respect. 

The moment Mr. West heard of the arrest of Colonel Trumbull, 
he hurried to Buckingham House, asked an audience of the king, and 
was admitted. He stated to the king, in what manner Trumbull had 
been employed during his residence in London, and requested that 
he might be released. This request, however, the king refused, urging 



' -^ 

Benjamin West. 

that he was in the hands of the law, and must abide the result ; but 
he pledged his royal promise that in the worst possible event of the 
law, his life should be safe. 

Colonel Trumbull remained in prison till June, 1781, when he was 
released by an order from the king, on condition that he would leave 
the kingdom in thirty days, (and not return till after peace was 
restored.) He remained in London some days after his release, and 
then determined to return to America by the shortest route, Amster- 
dam. He embarked for America in the early part of August, on 
board the frigate South Carolina, at Amsterdam ; but unfortunately 
a heavy gale sprang up, and the vessel was obliged to steer for the 
port of Corunna in Spain, where Trumbull remained till December, 
when he embarked on board the Cicero for America, where he arrived 
early in January. Shortly after his return to America he was seized 
with a dangerous illness which confined him to his bed for several 
months. As soon as he had recovered sufficient strength, he engaged 
in a contract with his brother, for the supply of the army. This 
duty brought him into frequent intercourse with his early friend. 
General Washington, by whom he was kindly received. 

As soon as he received the news of the signing of the preliminaries 
of peace, he determined to return to London to resume his study of 



the arts, and accordingly, closing all other business he embarked in 
December, 1783, at Portsmouth, New Hampshire, for London. 

He arrived in London, 1784, and presented himself immediately 
to Mr. West, who received him most cordially. His studies with Mr. 
West, and at the academy, were resumed with ardor. In the summer 
of 1785, he began to meditate seriously the subjects of national 
history — the events of the Revolution, which were afterwards 
the great objects of his professional life. The death of General 
Warren at the battle of Bunker Hill, and of General Montgomery at 
the attack on Quebec, were first decided upon as being the earliest 
'important events, in point of time; and Colonel Trumbull not only 
regarded them as highly interesting passages of history, but felt, that 
in painting them, he would be paying a just tribute of gratitude to the 
memory of eminent men, who had given their lives for their country. 

Mr. West witnessed the progress of these two pictures with in- 
terest, and strongly encouraged Colonel Trumbull to persevere in 
the work of the history of the American Revolution, which he had 
thus commenced. 

About this time Trumbull became acquainted with Mr. Jefferson, 
then minister of the United States in Paris, whom political duties 
had called to London. He encouraged Trumbull to persevere in 
his pursuit, and kindly invited him to come to Paris, and, during his 
stay, to make his house his home. Trumbull's two paintings met 
his warm approbation. 

Mr. Jefferson's kind invitation was received by Colonel Trumbull 
with pleasure, and during his stay at Paris he commenced the com- 
position of the Declaration of Independence, in which he was assisted 
by Mr. Jefferson with information and advice. His paintings above 
mentioned procured him an introduction to all the principal artists 
of France, In September and October, 1786, Colonel Trumbull 
made a tour through Germany, visiting all the works of art, and 
returned to London in November, his brain half turned by the atten- 
tion which had been paid to his paintings in Paris, and by the mul- 
titude of fine things which he had seen. 

He immediately resumed his labors on American subjects, espe- 
cially the Declaration of Independence. He also made various studies 
for the Surrender of Lord Cornwallis ; but in this he found consider- 
able difficulty. Some progress was also made in the composition of 
some of the other subjects, especially of the battles of Trenton and 

In May, 1787, having heard from Mr. Poggi (an eminent Italian 
artist) the story of the Sortie from Gibraltar, he painted it. This 
painting elicited the praise and commendation of all who viewed it 



Mr. Jefferson. 

It was, in the opinion of the celebrated connoisseur, Horace Walpole, 
afterwards Lord Orford, " the finest picture he had ever seen, painted 
on the northern side of the Alps." 

In the autumn of 1787, Colonel Trumbull again visited Paris, 
where he painted Mr. Jefferson tn the Declaration of Independence, 
and the French officers in the Surrender of Lord Cornwallis. He 
again visited Paris in 1789, and witnessed the first outbreaks of the 
French Revolution, and the destruction of the Bastile, During his 
stay in Paris, he had an important conversation with the Marquis 
de la Fayette, which, by the wish of the latter, he reported to the 
President of the United States. 

Soon after this conversation Colonel Trumbull returned to Lon- 
don, and Mr. Jefferson having obtained leave of absence for a few 
months, they both embarked for the United States, in different ships ; 
Trumbull for New York, Jefferson for Norfolk, in Virginia, Colonel 
Trumbull arrived in New York on the 26th of November, 1789. He 
found the government of the United States organized under the new 
constitution, with General Washington as President. Trumbull lost 
no time in communicating to Washington the state of political affairs, 
and the prospects of France as explained to him by M. La Faye+te, 
and having done this, he proceeded immediately to visit his family 



Jolin Jay. 

and friends in Connecticut. His father died in 1785, at the age of 
seventy-five years. His brother and friend Colonel Wadsworth of 
Hartford, were members of the house of representatives in Con- 
gress ; and vt-ith them he returned to New York to pursue his v\^ork 
of the Revolution. While in this city he obtained many portraits 
for the Declaration of Independence, Surrender of Lord Cornwallis, 
and of General Washington in the battles of Trenton and Princeton. 
In April, 1790, he opened his subscription list for the engravings 
from his first two pictures of Bunker Hill and Quebec, which had 
been contracted for with Mr. Miiller, of Stutgard, in Germany, and 
Mr. Clements, of Denmark. He obtained the names of the presi- 
dent, vice-president, many of the senators, and of many of the prin- 
cipal citizens of New York. 

In May he went to Philadelphia — but in July was again in New 
York, and painted for the city a full-length portrait of General 
Washington. In February of the following year he was at Charles- 
ton, S. C, for the purpose of obtaining portraits. In the following 
June he returned to Connecticut, and painted the portrait of General 
George Clinton. In 1792 he visited Philadelphia, and painted a 
portrait of General Washington for the city of Charleston, S. C. 

In May, 1794, he embarked with Mr. Jay for Great Britain as his 
private secretary. When his duty of secretary was ended, he pro- 
ceeded to Stutgard to examine the progress of his engravmg of 
Bunker Hill. In 1795 he was engaged in a brandy speculation, 
from which, although at first it promised great results, he in the end 



gained nothing-. In August, 1796, he returned to London, where 
he received from Mr. Pickering, (through Mr. King,) secretary of 
state of the United States, a commission and instructions, appointing 
him an agent for the relief and recovery of American seamen im- 
pressed by Great Britain ; and before he had time to return an 
answer, he received notice from the commissioners, who had been 
appointed by the two nations to carry into execution the seventh 
article of the treaty negotiated by Mr. Jay, that they had appointed 
him the fifth commissioner. The importance of the latter situation 
left no room for hesitation as to accepting it : the other duty he de- 
clined accepting. His duties as commissioner he faithfully per- 
formed; and when they adjourned to meet on the first of November, 
1797, he took a journey to Stutgard for the purpose of procuring 
the engraving of Bunker Hill, which was then completed. Having 
received his picture and copper-plate from Mr. Muller, and obtained 
passports to Paris, he set off from Stutgard, and arrived in Paris 
about the middle of October. The duties of his commission required 
his presence in London the first of November. In Paris, however, 
he met with difficulties in consequence of the revolution, which 
prevented his reaching London until the 2d of November. The busi- 
ness of the commission was not concluded till the spring of 1804. 
As soon as the commission was dissolved, Colonel Trumbull took 
passage on board a vessel bound to New York. The passage was a 
boisterous one, the vessel did not reach New York until the 27th of 
June, having had a passage of sixty-three days. 

RUMBULL now established himself in New 
York as a portrait painter, and met with con- 
siderable success. In 1807 he WTOte a criti- 
cism, ridiculing President JeflTerson's project 
of naval defence by gun-boats. 

In December, 1808, he again embarked 
for London, where he arrived on the 7th of 
January, 1809. He was kindly received by 
Mr. West, and resumed his profession, which 
he continued until the early part of 1810, 
when, finding that his receipts were not equal 
to his expenses, and that he was compelled to borrow, he determined 
to return to America. In this, however, he was disappointed, for 
the declaration of war, in 1812, put an end to all mutual inter- 
course between the two countries. He was, in consequence, detained 
in England till the end of the war, and obliged to run in debt for the 
means of subsistence. 

Peace between the two countries being restored, he, in the latter 


part of 1815, returned to America, and resumed the practice of his 
profession in New York. In the early part of the following year, 
having been informed that Baltimore had resolved to have pictures 
of the late successful defence, he offered proposals for painting. 
The project was however abandoned, on account of the expense that 
would be incurred. 

Trumbull was now advised to go to Washington, and there offer 
his great, but long suspended project of national paintings of subjects 
from the Revolution. Congress being in session, the visit was made, 
and the result was, that a contract was made for four paintings, at a 
price of eight thousand dollars for each. The paintings were the 
Declaration of Independence, Surrender of Lord Cornwallis, Sur- 
render of General Burgoyne, and the Resignation by General Wash- 
ington of his commission to Congress. 

The last picture was scarcely finished, when he had the misfortune 
to lose his wife, (April, 1824,) who had been the faithful and beloved 
companion of all the vicissitudes of the last twenty-four years. 

His contract with the government being honorably fulfilled, and 
his debts paid, Trumbull found himself, at the age of three score and 
ten years, about to begin the world anew. His best friend, his wife, 
was removed from him, and his having no child to soothe his declining 
years, brought upon him a sense of loneliness. 

His sight, however, was good, his hand steady : " Why, then," said 
he, " shall I sink down into premature imbecility ?" 

He therefore resolved to begin a new series of paintings, of a 
somewhat smaller size than those in the Capitol, While engaged 
in painting one of these he was attacked by the cholera; but in the 
course of a few days it passed away, and without any serious con- 

Colonel Trumbull was still unable to earn a present subsistence, 
being reduced to the necessity, for this purpose, of disposing piece- 
meal of his furniture, plate, &c. From this state of embarrassment 
he was at length relieved, by an arrangement which he made with 
the corporation of Yale College in the month of December, 1831, 
and by which he bestowed upon this institution his imsold paintings, 
in exchange for an annuity of $1000 for the remainder of his life. 
These paintings are deposited for exhibition in the " Trumbull Gal- 
lery," in New Haven : the most remarkable among them are, " The 
battle of Bunker's Hill ;" " The death of General Montgomery at 
Quebec ;" " The Declaration of Independence ;" " The battle of 
Trenton ;" " The battle of Princeton ;" " The surrender of General 
Burgoyne ;" " Surrender of General Cornwallis ;" " Washington 
resigning his commission ;" " Our Saviour with little children ;" 



" The woman accused of adultery ;" " Peter the Great at Narva," 
&c. Colonel Trumbull, during the later years of his life, resided at 
New Haven. His death took place in the city of New York, on the 
10th of November, 1843, in the eighty-eighth year of his age. 

Colonel Trumbull may be considered one of the most interesting 
among the many remarkable characters called into action and 
developed by our revolutionary war. All that we know of him tends 
to raise him in our estimation as a soldier, a gentleman, and an artist. 
When accidentally, as he thought, but providentially as the event 
proved, he was excluded from the army, he deemed it a great mis- 
fortune, but it forced upon him the cultivation of his art, and made 
him the painter of the Revolution. His noble historical paintings 
are the most precious relics of that heroic age, which the nation 
possesses. They are justly prized above all price ; and the latest pos- 
terity will rejoice that Trumbull laid down the sword to take up the 
palette and pencil. 


OHN LANGDON was born at Portsmouth, 
New Hampshire, in December, 1739. He 
received an early education at the grammar 
school of his native place, which was then 
taught by the celebrated Major Hale. He 
was afterwards placed apprentice to an emi- 
nent merchant, where he conducted himself 
with such propriety, as to win the approbation 
and confidence of his employer. At the ex- 
piration of his apprenticeship, he went to sea 
as supercargo ; and soon after obtaining a 
vessel of his own, made several voyages to London and the West 
Indies. He finally settled himself as a merchant, in which line of 
business he continued until the commencement of the revolutionary 
war. During the whole dispute with Great Britain, he took a de- 
cided part with the colonists, and was chosen, first a representative 



to the general court, and in the spring of 1775, a delegate to 

After the battle of Lexington, Mr. Langdon, accompanied by John 
Sullivan and Thomas Pickering, raised a company of men and pro- 
ceeded to Fort William and Mary, on Great Island, disarmed the 
garrison, and conveyed the arms and ammunition to a place of safety. 
A number of barrels of gunpovv^der, w^hich formed part of the booty, 
was subsequently highly useful at Bunker Hill. 

This affair evinced the enterprising spirit of Langdon, and al- 
though small in itself, was of very great importance in inspiring 
courage and enthusiasm throughout his native state. So fully was 
his gallantry appreciated, that when the royal government would have 
arrested and prosecuted him, the inhabitants declared their resolu- 
tion to remain by him at all hazards. 

In 1775, "we find Langdon a delegate to the general Congress of 
the colonies, and the following year continental agent for the navy. 
Under his inspection were built a number of ships of vrar — among 
others, the Raleigh, Ranger, America, [a 74,] Poi'tsmouth, &c. On 
the arrival of the important supplies of warlike stores from France, 
in four large ships, which were accompanied by other vessels, he 
received and disposed of the same by order of Congress. He after- 
wards commanded an independent company with, the rank of colonel, 
and especially signalized himself in the frequent alarms of the 
enemy's approach during the winter of 1775-6. He was prevented 
from signing the Declaration of Independence by his duties as navy 
agent ; but when it was publicly proclaimed, he drew up his com- 
pany before the State House, and hailed its annunciation with the 
greatest joy. 

While Burgoyne was rapidly approaching New York, in 1777, 
Colonel Langdon was speaker of the assembly of New Hampshire, 
and when means were wanting to support a regiment, to oppose the 
British genera], he gave all his hard money, pledged his plate, and 
applied to the same purpose seventy hogsheads of rum. His speech 
on this occasion is worthy of lasting remembrance. " I have three 
thousand dollars in hard money ; I will pledge my plate for three 
thousand more. I have seventy hogsheads of Tobago rum, which 
shall be sold for the most it will bring — these are at the service of the 
state. If we succeed in defending our firesides and homes, I may be 
remunerated, if we do not, the property will be of no value to me. 
Our old friend Stark, who so nobly maintained the honor of our state 
at Bunker's Hill, may be safely intrusted with the conduct of the 
enterprise, and we will check the progress of Burgoyne." 

This patriotic speech infused zeal into the assembly. A brigade 


was raised with the means thus furnished, which under Brigadier- 
General Stark, achieved the memorable victory of Bennington. 
Colonel Langdon was a volunteer in the army that captured Burgoyne, 
as also in the expedition against Rhode Island, in 1778. He con- 
tinued in the army until the close of the war, performing various 
duties, which gained him the respect and gratitude of his country. 
_^^ ^^^^^^^^^^ ^= ^^- -^ N 1785, Colonel Langdon was governor 
'' 'T??ia^ ^^p^^^ ^ ^^^^^^ of New Hampshire, and in 1787, dele- 
^ '^^^^ff ^ o^^^ ^° ^^® convention that framed the 

& ^^^' ral ^^^ stitution, he was one of the first United 

Bl . ^^^^g|^ ~"~>,p^ =^ States senators from New Hampshire, 

^f_jrz^ g^^;4^ H ^^^ E: when the votes for the first president 
^^^^^^^^S^^B^^^H were to be counted, and was appointed 
^^^^^ ^^ ^^^B^^^^B president 'pro tem/pore of that august 
-' — ' ■ " ^^ ^ fe"^^ body. His letter to General Washing- 
ton; informing him of the result, is as follows. 

New York, 7 
mh April, 1789. > 

Sir, — I have the honor to transmit to your Excellency, the infor- 
mation of your unanimous election to the office of President of the 
United States of America. Suffer me, sir, to indulge the hope, that 
so auspicious a mark of public confidence, will meet your approba- 
tion, and be considered as a pledge of the affection and support you 
are to expect from a free and enlightened people. 

I am, sir, with sentiments of respect, &c., John Langdon. 

Mr. Langdon was still president of the senate at the inauguration 
of Washington and Adams ; and remained a member for twelve 
years. In 1801, President Jefferson, with many of his friends, soli- 
cited him to accept the office of secretary of the navy — but this he 
declined. In 1805, he was elected governor of his state, and again 
in 1810. In the year following he retired from public service, 
repeatedly declining the appointment for the navy, as also the nomi- 
nation for Vice President, in 1812. He died after a short illness, 
September 18th, 1819. 

Governor Langdon was noted for his integrity, patriotism, and 
hospitality. During his whole life, he entertained numerous visitors 
at his own expense, and frequently extended his favors to strangers, 
or foreigners of distinction. He was a zealous professor of religion, 
to the duties of which he gave a considerable share of his attention. 
In the party politics of the Union he acted with Mr. Jefferson and his 
associates ; but was honored and trusted by both sides. The influ- 
ence of his name was great throughout the Union. 


OLONEL AARON BURR, a character 
fraught with deep and mysterious interest to 
every American, was born on the 6th of Feb- 
ruary, 1756, at Newark, New Jersey. His father 
was President^ Burr, of Princeton College, and his 
mother, a daughter of the celebrated Jonathan Ed- 
wards, of the same institution. Both his parents 
dying while he was but an infant, his education devolved upon a private 
instructor. The mind that was afterwards to be marked by such 
strange vicissitudes, soon began to display its daring character ; for, 
when but four years old, Aaron ran away in consequence of some 
misunderstanding with the teacher, and was not recovered for three 
or four days. 

"When six years old, he was placed under the care of his uncle, 
Timothy Edwards, at Stockbridge, Massachusetts, where he remained 
until his entrance into college. During this time he made an attempt 
to escape from his uncle, and embark on a sea voyage ; but he was 
intercepted and brought back to his residence. 



In 1769 he entered Princeton College, Here he pursued his 
studies with such assiduity, that he soon became the first scholar in 
his class. This however, does not seem to have arisen from a genuine 
love of knowle !« , but from an anxiety not to be thought below his 
fellows ; for after he had obtained pre-eminence, he suddenly sunk 
into dissipation and indolence, so that his last year at college was as 
remarkable for his neglect of study, as the former one had been for 
his application. In the meanwhile, he formed acquaintance with 
individuals who afterwards became renowned in diiferent depart- 
ments of intellect — among others Matthias Ogden, afterwards a 
colonel, Samuel Spring, D. D., and William Paterson, subsequently 
judge in the United States supreme court. 

After leaving college, he devoted much of his time to pplite litera- 
ture, and having ample means at his disposal, soon made rapid 
advances. At this time also, his mind seems to have been impressed 
with a sense of the importance of religion, and he communicated his 
feelings to the venerable Dr. Bellamy, of x!onnecticut. With that 
eminent divine he remained for two years, reading on the topics of 
religion, and pursuing his former studies. 

Burr left this hospitable mansion for the residence of his brother- 
in-law, Judge Reeve, at whose house he resided until the battle of 
Lexington, in April, 1775. He had already formed his opinion of 
the contest between England and her colonies, and by study had 
become thoroughly conversant with the theory of tactics. He accord- 
ingly wrote to his friend Ogden, to join the army with him, and they 
set out together immediately after the battle of Bunker Hill. A 
sight of the army disappointed him. It was without organization or 
discipline ; and distracted by dissolute habits, and constant conten- 
tions about rank. Soon after joining, Burr was attacked by a violent 
fever, but left his couch, to join the expedition of General Arnold 
against Quebec. 

In that disastrous expedition, young Burr encountered his full share 
of hardship. He was one of a small party that penetrated through the 
woods separately, and whose sufferings were, if possible, even greater 
than those of the main body. Burr suffered less than his companions 
from hunger, on account of his abstemious habits. On one occasion, 
he was very nearly killed by the passage of his boat down a fall 
twenty feet high. 

When the army arrived at the head of the Chaudiere, Burr was 
sent in the disguise of a priest, with a verbal communication to 
General Montgomery. On the way, he encountered a variety of 
danger and adventure, but reached Montgomery and delivered his 
message with such accuracy and good sense, that the general im 


mediately adopted him as one of his military family. During the 
siege and assault of Quebec, he won the approbation of all the 
officers, by his courage and endurance, and received on one occa- 
sion the superintendence of a small advance. He was by General 
Montgomery when he fell, and besides himself, but one of the attend- 
ants escaped unhurt. Arnold then assumed the command ; but Burr 
seems to have been unfriendly to him, as he, on one occasion, posi- 
tively refused to convey a communication from him to the town, on 
account of its objectionable contents. 

ARLY in 1776, the army moved from Mon- 
treal, in its homeward march. On the way 
the difficulties with Arnold increased, until at 
length Burr, who was now a major, left him 
'abruptly, in company with four men. This 
was against the express command of Arnold. 
When the major arrived at Albany, he re- 
ceived an invitation from Washington to join 
his head-quarters, which he accepted. The 
connection was not happy — it gave rise to prejudices which were 
never afterwards abandoned. Soon after he became aid to General 
Putnam, a situation more congenial to his wishes. While here he be- 
came acquainted with Miss Moncrieffe, afterwards the notorious 
Mrs. Coglar, and was no doubt the cause of her subsequent dissolute 

Major Burr was in the disastrous battle of Long Island, where he 
displayed his wonted activity and courage. He had previously made 
a careful reconnoissance of the enemy, and given his opinion to 
Putnam against a battle. In the subsequent retreat to New York, 
he behaved so well as to win the entire confidence of General 
McDougall, who conducted it. 

The British soon followed the American army, and Washington 
found it necessary to abandon all hope of defending the city against 
an overwhelming force. During the second retreat. Burr performed 
an action characteristic of his boldness and energy. Either through 
mistake or mismanagement, one brigade was left in New York, and 
posted themselves on an eminence called Bunker's Hill, which was 
in full view of the enemy. Burr was at this time on a scout for 
fugitives, and on observing the brigade he rode up to it. and asked 
who commanded, and what they did there. General Knox presented 
himself. The major urged him to retreat immediately, as otherwise 
his detachr»ent would be cut to pieces. Knox answered that a 
retreat in the face of the enemy was impossible, announcing his inten- 
tion of defending the fort. Burr replied that the place was not 


tenable, that it would be taken at a single discharge, and those of the 
garrison who escaped being shot would be hung like dogs. He then 
exhorted the men to follow him, and actually led them to camp in 
sight of the enemy, with the loss of only about thirty. 

URING the retreat through the Jerseys, 
and the subsequent active campaign of 
General Putnam in that quarter. Burr 
continued to behave so well as to challenge 
the respect and confidence of men and 
officers. In June, 1777, he was appointed lieu- 
tenanant colonel of the regiment of Colonel Mal- 
colm, at that time stationed in New York. Soon 
after, he received the chief command through the voluntary absence 
of the colonel. He performed active service in drilling the troops 
and cutting up the enemy's picket guards, but soon received orders 
to join the main army, which he did in November. 

At the battle of Monmouth, Burr commanded a brigade consisting 
of his own and another regiment, and was very active in reconnoiter- 
ing the enemy, and harassing their skirmishers. His own loss was 
severe, and he had had a horse shot under him. From constant ex- 
posure to fatigue and heat for three days, with very little sleep, he 
contracted a disease, which aiFected him for some years, yet so great 
was his endurance that not only did he continue in the performance 
of every duty, but did not even mention his indisposition to the other 

In the investigation of General Lee's conduct, which followed this 
battle, Burr was one of the few who took part with that officer in 
opposition to Washington. While aid-de-camp to the commander, 
in 1776, he had imbibed inveterate prejudices against him, which 
continued throughout life, and for the exercise of which he never 
suffered himself to lose an opportunity. 

Burr was again intrusted with a separate command in the state 
of New York, but his constantly increasing ill health, forced him to 
adopt the mortifying resolution to resign his rank and command. 
This was absolutely necessary. His constitution was shattered ; he 
could no longer attend to any active duty. His military career ended 
with his resignation, except that he led the students of East Haven 
College against Governor Tryon, in 1779. In this affair he per- 
formed good service, and ever afterwards mentioned the confidence 
evinced by these young men in his military abilities, with proud 
exultation. ^ 

After leaving the army, Burr was for some time incapacitated for 
any active business, but as health slowly returned, he applied himself 


with ardor to his old profession ol law. By the rules of court, it was 
required that every student should have completed three years legal 
study, prior to admission at the bar. Colonel Burr applied for an 
exemption from this rule, in consequence of his having served in the 
field, while he might have been pursuing his studies. This was 
opposed by all the lawyers, but the court decided in his favor, pro- 
vided he would stand a rigid examination of qualifications. He 
accordingly passed a trying ordeal, conducted by the opponents of 
his claims, came oflf victorious, and was admitted. His license bears 
date, January 19th, 1782. He commenced first in Albany. This 
was in April ; and in the following July (2d, 1782,) he was married 
to Miss Theodosia Prevost. Upon the withdrawal of the British 
troops from New York, consequent upon the establishment of peace, 
he entered that city, and soon acquired an extensive practice. 

'ARLY in 1784, Burr was elected a member 
of the New York legislature, and was re- 
markable for taking part onl}* in matters of 
importance. At this time, he seems to have 
been wholly destitute of ambition, and ani- 
mated only with a sincere desire to serve his coun- 
try. On the 14th of February, 1785, he was 
appointed chairman of a committee from the house, 
to act conjointly with one from the senate, in revising the state laws. 
He also introduced some important bills, and warmly advocated the 
abolition of slavery. His opposition to the bill for incorporating a 
body of the tradesmen and mechanics of New York city, caused 
much excitement, and for a while endangered both his property and 
life. A serious riot was prevented in a great degree by his firmness. 
From this time until 1788, Burr took little part in politics. About 
that time, discussions concerning a national constitution to supersede 
the articles of confederation, began to agitate the public mind. To 
these, a man like Colonel Burr could not be indifferent. When the 
new constitution was under debate in the New York legislature, he 
took part with the party calling themselves anti-federalists, who, 
although opposed to the old code, preferred amending it, rather than 
adopting a new. In 1789 George Clinton and Robert Yates were 
candidates for the office of governor of the state. The latter was 
the personal and political friend of Colonel Burr, and received his 
warm support. Clinton was elected ; but so little did the opposition 
of Burr affect the opinion he always entertained of his talents and 
integrity, that he immediately appointed the colonel as attorney 
general, an office at that time, involving deep and lasting interests of 
the state. One of these occurred in 1790, when with the treasurer 



and auditor, he was appointed on a board of commissioners, "to 
report on the subject of the various claims against the state, for ser- 
vices rendered, or injuries sustained, during the ■jvar of the revolu 
tion." " The task," says his biographer, " was one of great delicacy, 
and surrounded with difficulties. On Colonel Burr devolved the 
duty of making that report. It was performed in a masterly man- 
ner. When presented to the house, notwithstanding its magnitude, 
involving claims of every description to an immense amount, it met 
with no opposition from any quarter. On the 5th of April, 1792, 
the report was ordered to be entered at length on the journals of the 
assembly, and formed the basis of all future settlements with public 
creditors on account of the war. In it, the various claimants are 
classified ; legal and equitable principles are established, and applied 
to each particular class. The report occupies eighteen folio pages 
of the journals of the assembly." 

On the 4th of March, 1791, the term of office of General Schuyler 
as United States senator, expired. Burr succeeded him. His policy 
in this body was similar to that which had characterized him in the 
state legislature. 

In 1792 Clinton was again elected for governor, but in a manner, 
that gave strong reason to suspect extensive fraud. This led to angry 
discussion and intense popular excitement. Colonel Burr strongly 
advocated the election of Clinton, and from this time his course as a 
politician may be dated. 

When Washington delivered his address to Congress, (October 
25th, 1791,) the senate ordered, " That Messrs. Burr, Cabot, and 
Johnston, be a committee to prepare and report the draft of an 
address to the President of the United States, in answer to his speech, 
delivered this day to both houses of Congress in the senate cham- 
ber." Accordingly, on the following day. Burr reported an answer, 
which was adopted without amendment or alteration. He was 
employed on various other committees during this session, and was 
mainly instrumental in defeating an important " act for the more 
effectual protection of the south-western frontier settlers." He con- 
tinued in the senate until the 4th of March, 1797, during which time 
he also practised at his profession. In 1793, he advocated the claim 
of Mr. Gallatin, from Pennsylvania, to a seat in the senate, his right 
being contested. Burr was, however, overruled by a resolution, 
declaring, " That the election of Albert Gallatin to be a senator of 
the United States was void, he not having been a citizen of the 
United States the term of years, required as a qualification to be a 
senator of the United States." In the same year he opposed the 
nomination of his friend, John Jay, as envoy extraordinary to Eng- 



James Madison. 

land, a circumstance, which gave considerable pain to that amiable 
character. He subsequently opposed the treaty made by that gentle- 
man, and proposed several amendments, which were rejected. 

When the subject of appointing a minister to the court of France, 
in the place of Gouverneur Morris, was before Congress, the opposi- 
tion party decided upon recommending Colonel Burr. This was 
done by a committee, of whom Madison and Monroe were members. 
When the application was presented, Washington paused for a short 
time, and then observed, that it was his invariable custom, never to 
intrust a responsible station to any individual in whose moral charac- 
ter he could not repose full confidence. This interview was twice 
repeated, but the President remaining firm. Burr's appointment was 

In the spring of 1794, Mrs. Burr died, and in 1801, the colonel's 
only daughter was married and removed to South Carolina. These 
domestic afflictions seem to have destroyed, in a great measure, 
those fine feelings, which had ever marked the colonel in his domestic 
relations, and henceforth his life is a dark and exciting picture of 
passion and intrigue. 

In 1799, Burr became involved in certain transactions with the 
Holland Land Company, which caused so much suspicion of his 



Jolin Adams, 

integrity, as to give rise to a report that he had received twenty 
thousand dollars for dishonest secret service. One of the most 
active traducers of Burr was John B. Church, whose language was 
so pointed as to elicit a challenge from the colonel. This was 
accepted, and the parties met at Hoboken, on the 2d of September, 
1799. Mr. Church's second was Abijah Hammond, Esq. Burr's, 
Edanus Burke, of South Carolina. The principals fired one shot, 
and then settled their dispute amicably. 

When the first presidential term of Mr. Adams was about to close, 
the utmost anxiety was evinced throughout the country, both by 
his friends and opponents, for his re-election. Colonel Burr applied 
himself with unparalleled activity to secure the election of Mr. Jef- 
ferson, the democratic candidate. For this purpose he applied him- 
self to the complete organization of the party in New York, knowing 
that the success of the contest depended upon the vote of that state. 
He was singularly successful ; and though opposed by General 
Hamilton, he managed to keep the field as a partisan canvasser, and 
at the same time be nominated for the state legislature. The legis- 
lature itself was democratic, and thus democratic electors were chosen 
from New York. Under the old constitution, the presidential candi- 
date who received the highest number of votes became president, 



and his most successful riva , vice-president. Burrs talents and 
services were appreciated by the democratic party ; he was placed 
on the same ticket with Jef'erson ; and by a strange fatality, each 
received the same number of votes. 

The choice of president now devolved upon the house of repre- 
sentatives ; thirty-six ballotings took place, during which a scene of 
excitement prevailed rarely surpassed in a legislative body. The 
details are little creditable either to some of the members, or to 
Mr. Jefferson himself; but our hmits forbid us to enlarge. The 
vote was finally cast for Thomas Jefferson as President, and Aaron 
Burr, Vice-President. 

ROM the moment of his accession to this high 
office, fate seemed to have marked him out as 
her peculiar victim. Every action, every word 
the most trival, was watched by his enemies 
with argus eyes ; and among these enemies 
the most virulent were those who had been his 
warmest political friends. He was accused of 
leaguing with the federal party, in order to obtain the presidency 
through the defeat of Mr. Jefferson, and even the names of his 
political associates were published in most of the journals with the 
greatest confidence. Much of this was no doubt false ; but the 
silence of Burr upon it, caused by an adherence to a long adopted 
rule of conduct, tended to give it confirmation with the people. 
Slowly his downward course now commenced ; and in 1804, he who 
three years before could command the triumphant vote of a nation 
for almost any office in its bestowal, was opposed successfully at a 
public meeting in New York, as a nominee for governor. He was 
supported however by a portion of the democratic party ; but being 
opposed by the remainder, as well as by the federalists under Alex- 
ander Hamilton, he was defeated. This led to the duel between that 
great man, and the colonel, which terminated in the death of Hamil- 
ton. It is sufficient here to observe, that all party feelings were 
merged in feelings of sorrow for Hamilton, and consequent indigna- 
tion against his opponent. The last public duty performed by the 
latter, was acting as president of the senate in the case of Judge 
Samuel Chase, who was impeached before the United States Senate 
for " high crimes and misdemeanors." After the vote of the mem- 
bers had been taken without yielding a decision. Colonel Burr said, 
"there not being a constitutional majority on any one article, it 
becomes my duty to pronounce that Samuel Chase, Esq., is acquitted 
on the articles of impeachment exhibited against him by the house of 
representatives " 


We come now to a period in the life of Burr fraught with thrilling 
and mysterious interest both to himself and his country. We refer 
to his attempted invasion of Mexico, and. alleged treason. As all the 
evidence of nearly half a century has failed to explain the true nature 
of his motives in connection with these transactions, we shall barely 
state what facts have been clearly ascertained, without giving an 
opinion upon them. 

In the beginning of the present century, difficulties arose between 
Spain and the United States, concerning the navigation of the Missis- 
sippi, which for a while threatened a war between the two countries. 
In 1805 and 1806, Burr passed through most of our western terri- 
tory, and engaged in considerable speculations for land, in order to 
establish new and isolated settlements. His love of military enter- 
prise, led him to take an interest in the {Existing national dispute, until 
finally he was induced to believe that a separation of Mexico from 
Spain, might be accomplished by a force from the United States. 
Something similar to this idea had haunted him long before this 
period, and he now began maturing a plan for its accomplishment. 
He found the contemplated war popular in the west, and by artful 
representations, induced the population of that quarter to believe 
that he was authorized to raise an army for Mexico. He received 
from Colonel Lynch six hundred thousand acres of territory, by pur- 
chase, and by some means the interest on this land, in wdiich many 
worthy citizens were concerned, became blended with his grand 
scheme of invasion. He conferred confidentially with General Wil- 
kinson, who was then in command of some six hundred men, with 
whom the adherents of Burr were to unite. Wilkinson, who was the 
American commander-in-chief, despatched one Clarke to Mexico, to 
ascertain the disposition of the inhabitants toward the mother 
country, and enlist friends for the enterprise. Many priests and 
military officers were favorable to the project, and agreements were 
entered into between the parties for mutual security. Burr also 
visited General Jackson, who entered warmly into his plans. Subse- 
quently, however, that officer declared in a letter, that if it was in- 
tended merely to invade Mexico he would aid the project to the best 
of his ability, but if Burr had treasonable designs against the United 
States, as was reported, he would have nothing to do with him. 

These bold movements could not escape the notice of the people of 
our country, and especially of Burr's numerous enemies. Mr. Jef- 
ferson ordered his arrest on a charge of treason. He was taken on 
the Tombigbee river, Mississippi territory, and arrived at Richmond, 
Virginia, on the 26th of March, 1807. Several other persons were 
arrested about the same time, the principal of whom was the cele- 


4 07 

William Wirt. 

Drated Blennerhassett. The trial came on, May 22d, before the 
Circuit Court of the United States, Judge Marshall presiding. 
About a month after, the grand jury presented two bills, one for trea- 
son, the other for misdeme.anor. After obtaining a jury, the trial on 
the first indictment commenced, August 17th, and continued un- 
til the first of September. The jury returned as follows : — " We 
of the jury say, that Aaron Burr is not proved to be guilty under 
this indictment by any evidence submitted to us. We therefore find 
him not guilty." Burr objected to this verdict as informal, asserting 
that the jury had no right to depart from the usual and simple form, 
guilty, or not guilty. The court overruled the objection, and entered 
the verdict as not guilty. It is worthy of remark, that the celebrated 
William Wirt first attracted public attention to his brilliant talents by 
taking part as an attorney and pleader in this trial. 

On the 9th of the same month, the trial commenced on the second 
indictment. The charge was, in substance, " that Aaron Burr did set 
on foot a military enterprise to be carried on against the territory of 
a foreign prince ; namely, the province of Mexico, which was within 
the territory of the king of Spain, with whom the United States were 
at peace." Much excitement prevailed at the trial, but the jury re- 
turned a verdict of ' not guilty.' 

Next year (June 7th,) Burr left a land, whose every quarter must 
have been painful to him, and sailed for England. Here he was an 
object of distrust to government, and although respected by many 


distinguished characters, was finally ordered from the kingdom. He 
next repaired to France, where he received still worse treatment from 
Napoleon, being not only most strictly watched, but even refused a 
passage to his own country. His life at this time, appears to have 
been one of wretchedness, and his pecuniary means were so low, 
that he was frequently reduced to the utmost distress. At length he 
was permitted to leave France for Amsterdam, from whence he sailed 
for America. On the way, he was captured by an English frigate, 
and conveyed to Yarmouth. Here he was obliged to remain for five 
months ; so that it was not until the 8th of June, 1812, four years 
after leaving his native country, that he again reached its shores. 

The subsequent career of Colonel Burr may be comprised in a few 
words. He devoted himself assiduously to the bar, with a success 
as rapid as it was flattering. All ambitious projects seemed now to 
have left his bosom ; and he rarely took part in politics, unless at 
the presidential contest, and then only among particular friends. The 
death of his grandson, Aaron Burr Allston, and the loss of his only 
daughter, in a ship supposed to have been wrecked or captured by 
pirates, severed the last domestic ties which held him to earth, and 
exerted a perceptible influence on all his subsequent life. " For two 
or three years before his death," says his biographer, " he suffered 
under the effects of a paralysis. Much of the time, he was in a 
measure helpless, so far as locomotion was concerned. His general 
health however, was tolerably good, by using great precaution in his 
diet. He had long abstained from the use of either tea or coffee, as 
affecting his nervous system. His mind retained much of its vigor, 
and his memory, as to events of long standing, seems to have been 
unimpaired. Under sufferings of body or mind he seldom complained ; 
but during the last years of his life he became more restive and 
impatient. The friends of his youth had gone before him; all the 
ties of consanguinity which could operate in uniting him to the 
world, were severed asunder. To him there remained no brother, 
no sister, no child, no lineal descendant. He had numbered four- 
score years, and seemed anxious for the arrival of the hour when his 
eyes should be closed in everlasting sleep. 

In the summer of 1836, Colonel Burr was removed to Staten 
Island for the benefit of his health. Here he expired, on the 14th 
of September, in the eighty-first year of his age. His remains were 
afterwards removed to Princeton, New Jersey, in accordance with 
his own request, and interred in the college ground, with the honors 
of war, and in presence of a large body of spectators. 


ALEXANDER HAMILTON was born in the 
Island of Nevis, in the British West Indies, 
on the eleventh of January, 1757. His ances- 
try vv^ere Scottish. He received his education 
in the Island of St. Croix, under the super- 
intendence of the Rev. Dr. Knox, a Presby- 
terian divine, who gave to his mind a strong- 
religious bias that never left it. At an early 
age he was placed as a clerk in the counting- 
house of a Mr. Cruger, a merchant of St. Croix, in whose service 
he began to display the wonderful talents which have made his name 
so distinguished. At the age of twelve, we find him writing to a 
school-fellow : " I contemn the grovelling condition of a clerk, to 
which my fortune condemns me, and would willingly risk my life, 
though not my character, to exalt my station ; I mean to prepare 
the way for futurity." 

All his leisure moments were devoted to study, and nothing was 



omitted that could exalt his mind or increase his knowledge. He 
wrote an account of the hurricane that swept over some of the West 
India islands, in 1772, so graphic and elegant, as to excite general 
admiration, and, though he had published it anonymously, his 
authorship was discovered. His gratified friends determined to send 
him to New York, that he might receive a liberal education. Arriving 
at New York in October, 1772, he studied with Mr. Francis Barber, 
afterwards Colonel Barber, of the revolutionary army, until the close 
of 1773, when he entered King's, now Columbia College, New 
York. A mind endowed in so extraordinary a manner as was his, 
could not refrain from taking an active side in the great questions of 
colonial rights, then under discussion. Several anonymous tracts 
and elaborate pamphlets proceeded from his pen, in which he took 
the broadest ground in the defence of the colonists, and ui^ged the 
policy of encouraging domestic manufactures, and the production, in 
the south, of cotton, that the whole continent might be able to clothe 
itself. In the course of these publications, he became involved in a 
controversy with Dr. Cooper, the head of the college, and other able 
logicians, in which he displayed such great powers, that the learned 
doctor held to be absurd the idea that so young a man as Hamilton 
could be his opponent. In July, 1774, Hamilton appeared at a public 
meeting, held where the Park now is, in front of the City Hall, New 
York, and made a speech characterized by eloquence and force. He 
was then seventeen years of age. 

|N the following year, while still at college, 
^^g he joined a volunteer corps of militia in 

^* "^ """^ -~" = New York, and studied and reduced to 
'^1 ' _ practice, the details of military tactics. 
~J' ' '^ J^^^^^^S^J ^t the same time he was busily engaged 
^^— ^— ^^i ~^^^"^-°~ ^ ^^ investigating the several points of 
__^^^^^^He=.--=^'^ - political science, relative to commerce, 
^^^^^^^^^_?T^^. the balance of trade, and the circulating 

On the 14th of March, 1776, he was appointed captain of a pro- 
vincial company of artillery, in New York city, and in that rank he 
was soon in active service. He brought up the rear in the retreat of 
the army from Long Island, and succeeded in attracting the notice 
and esteem of Washington at the time of the battle of the W^hite 
Plains, in October of that year. Unflinching in the cause, and ac- 
tive in his duty, he remained at the head of his company during the 
retreat through the Jerseys, at Trenton and at Princeton. On the 
first of March, 1777, he was made aid-de-camp to General Wash 
ington, with the rank of lieutenant-colonel ; and he continued to be a 



member of the family of the commander-in-chief until the year 
1781. General Washington called him his "principal and most 
confidential aid." In that station he had every opportunity of 
making known his talents and accomplishments. His knowledge of 
the French language, joined to his kindness and his desire to be of 
use to them, won upon the French officers in the service of our 
country, and, among others, General La Fayette and Baron Steuben, 
became strongly attached to him. The confidence and esteem of 
the latter officer enabled Colonel Hamilton to become fully ac- 
quainted with his merits, and he therefore recommended him to Gene- 
ral Washington as the most suitable person for the important office 
of inspector general, while Hamilton's own abilities were tested by 
the task of designating the powers and duties of this new officer. 

N November, 1777, Colonel Hamilton 
w^as sent to Albany, to obtain a rein- 
forcement of three brigades from Gene- 
ral Gates for the army opposed to 
General Howe in Philadelphia, and he 
succeeded in getting two of the three 
without displaying his absolute au- 
thority to the irascible Gates, who 
showed much reluctance to complying 
with the requisition. By the advice 
and persuasions of Colonel Hamilton, the battle of Monmouth was 
resolved upon contrary to the opinion of the majority of a council 
of war ; and the young soldier displayed the greatest gallantry in the 
battle, fighting under the orders of General La Fayette. In October, 
1780, he earnestly recommended the appointment of General Greene 
to the command of the southern army, as a general "whose genius," 
he said, " carried in it all the resources of war." When he retired 
from the family of General Washington, he still retained his rank in 
the army, and was exceedingly desirous to obtain a separate com- 
mand in some light corps in the army. He was gratified, after some 
time, with the command of a corps of light infantry, attached to the 
division under the command of the Marquis de La Fayette. He led 
the night attack upon one of the enemy's redoubts at Yorktown, 
which were carried with a rapidity and bravery only equalled by the 
more modern exploits of American arms. The active service of the 
army being now ended. Colonel Hamilton turned his attention to the 
profession of the law, fitted himself for its practice with amazing 
facility, and was admitted, in 1782, to the bar of the supreme court 
of New York. 

Although the principal labor of the correspondence of the com- 


mander-in-chief had fallen upon Colonel Hamilton while an aid, he 
had nevertheless found time to investigate the burdens that pressed 
most heavily upon the colonies during the war. The loss of public 
credit through the enormous issues of paper currency, and the conse- 
quent inability of the government and the army to sustain them- 
selves and support the war, called forth all his energies to find a 
means of relief. His letters upon the subject to Robert Morris, in 
1779, produced the formation of the Bank of Pennsylvania, which 
by lending its aid to the national bank, established also by the sug- 
gestion and according to the plan of Hamilton, enabled it to retrieve 
in a measure the credit of the country, and support the army till the 
conclusion of the war. 

OLONEL HAMILTON, in 1780, wrote a letter 
to Mr. Duane, a member of Congress from New 
York, on the state of the nation, which is the 
most able paper upon the subject that appeared 
during the war. In his plan for remedying the 
defects, contained in the letter, he sketched the 
outline of our present constitution, almost as it 
was afterwards adopted. He was then just twenty-three years of 
age. He resumed this subject in a series of anonymous essays in a 
country paper of New York, in the winter of 178 1—2, with his usual 
ability. The New York legislature elected him to Congress in 1782, 
to the proceedings of which body he speedily gave a new and more 
vigorous tone. In all he did, his clear and sound reasoning, and 
the manly and graceful powers of his mind were conspicuous. His 
labors in the public service were incessant. He was the foremost 
man of the New York delegation to the convention, for the forma- 
tion of the constitution ; his counsels and almost unanswerable argu- 
ments were heard upon every important point, and, after its adoption, 
he entered the field as its most able defender. Of the eighty-five 
papers published over the signature of "Pw^Zms," and collected into 
the two volumes called " The Federalist," he wrote more than fifty. 
The others were the work of Mr. Madison and Mr. Jay. The 
familiarity with the subject, acquired in preparing these immortal 
documents, and his participation in the proceedings of the convention, 
enabled him to bring- all the wisdom of the commentator to aid his 
eloquence as an orator, when it became his duty to defend the con- 
stitution in the New York state convention, assembled to adopt or 
reject it. 

His triumphant success in managing the fiscal concerns of the 
nation, after the formation of the new government, under President 
Washington, is too well known to require repetition. Whenever the 



name of Washington is mentioned as the founder of our happy- 
government, the memory of Hamilton will suggest itself as its 
brightest ornament and the firmest pillar of its support. Jt was by 
the advice of Hamilton that General Washington issued his famous 
proclamation of neutrality, in April, 1793, which afterwards formed 
the ground-work of the foreign policy of the first president, and by 
his advice Mr. Jay was sent to conclude his famous treaty with Great 
Britain, as minister extraordinary, in 1794. Although he had retired 
from the cabinet when Mr. Jay's treaty became the subject of popular 
discussion, yet he defended its wisdom and justice in a series of 
papers over the signature of Camillus, in the summer of 1795. Few 
among American state papers are more able than these productions. 
Colonel Hamilton was again involved in a political discussion, on 
the occasion of the ill treatment received by our government from 
the French republic. His essays upon this subject were published 
under the signature of Titus Manlius, and suggested the proper 
course to be that, which was shortly afterwards adopted by the 
government. At the recommendation of General Washington, Colo- 
nel Hamilton was appointed inspector-general of the small army that 
was raised in anticipation of hostilities with France in 1798. 

N the winter of 1804, Colonel Aaron Burr 
was proposed as a candidate for governor 
of the state of New York. At a public 
meeting. Colonel Hamilton declared that 
he considered Colonel Burr an unsafe and unfit 
person to be placed in such an office ; expressions 
for which Colonel Burr thought proper to call him 
to an account in the next year, after he had been 
defeated. Colonel Hamilton, opposed as he was to the practice of 
duelling, nevertheless thought it necessary to meet him in the field. 
He fell on the 12th of July, 1806, mourned most sincerely by all the 
inhabitants of the country. The subsequent mysterious conduct of 
Colonel Burr, while it proved the justice of Hamilton's opinion, pro- 
duced no effect upon his character, in comparison with the odium he 
incurred by his conduct in the dispute with the lamented Hamilton. 
The last years of the life of Colonel Hamilton were devoted to the 
practice of the law in New York, where he enjoyed an overwhelming 
share of business. The able author of his biography in the National 
Portrait Gallery, says of him : " He was a great favorite with the 
New York merchants, and he justly deserved to be so, for he had 
uniformly proved himself to be an enlightened, intrepid, and perse- 
vering friend to the commercial prosperity of the country. He was 
a great master of commercial law, as well as of the principles of 



international jurisprudence. There were no deep recesses of the 
science which he did not explore. He would occasionally draw from 
the fountains of the civil law, and illustrate and enforce the enlight- 
ened decisions of Mansfield, by the severe 
judgment of Emerigon, and the lucid 
commentaries of Valin. In short, he con 
ferred dignity and high reputation on the 
profession, of which he was indisputably 
the first of the first rank, by his indefati 
gable industry, his thorough researches, 
his logical powers, his solid judgment, his 
winning candor, and his matchless elo- 

The popularity of General Hamilton 
with the merchants of New York was not 
a transient one. So late as the year 
1835, his statue was placed by them in 
the Exchange of the great commercial 
metropolis, destined unfortunately to be 
destroyed in the great fire of that year. A 
cotemporary journalist says : 
" If any specimen of statuary can impress the beholder with exalted 
ideas of the art of sculpture, it is the statue of Alexander Hamilton, 
To look upon it, is to see Hamilton himself ; and to feel almost 
conscious that we are in his living presence. When we disburthen 
ourselves of the impression that it is him, the mind is filled with admi- 
ration at the triumph of that noble art that can make the marble 
almost warm with life. There stands the form of Hamilton in 
majesty, yet repose ; there is the broad and noble forehead, the ma- 
jestic and thoughtful brow, the free, intelligent, commanding eye ; 
you almost perceive the temples throb, you mark every line of fea- 
ture, and every expression of countenance. The limbs and form are 
chastely imagined, and the whole is invested with dignity and grace, 
eloquence and power. The Roman toga hangs gracefully over the 
left shoulder ; the right hand, resting upon an oblong polished pedestal, 
holds a scroll, which may represent the act empowering the funding 
of the national debt, with the seal of government appended ; the left 
arm hangs gracefully by his side. It is almost a speaking statue; 
beautiful in design, and wonderful in the execution, which has carried 
the minutest parts to extraordinary perfection. What a powerful 
conception, strong imagination, discriminating taste, excellent judg- 
ment, and skilful hand, must distinguish the artist who can chisel 
such a ' human form divine,' to which we may apply the adage, 



naseitur, non fit. Of this order we may class Mr. Ball Hughes of 
New York, to whose skilful hand the country is indebted for this -mag- 
nificent production. For him, the statue of Hamilton speaks higher 
and more enduring encomiums than the most lavish praise. To look 
on this statue, or the monument of Bishop Hobart in Trinity Church, 
or the busts of Edward Livingston and others, is to be convinced of 
his superior talents. 

" The statue of Hamilton was chiselled from a solid block of white 
Italian marble, weighing nine tons ; was about two years in the hands 
of the artist, and weighs now one and a half tons. It is purely white, 
highly finished, and finely contrasts with the blue granite pedestal on 
which it stands, fourteen feet high. It adorns the centre of the great 
room in the Merchants' Exchange, where it was first exposed to view 
about the middle of April last. It was erected by the merchants of 
the city, at a cost of six thousand to eight thousand dollars. We are 
happy to coincide with Colonel Trumbull in this matter, in thinking 
that ' there are very few pieces of statuary in Europe superior to 
this, and not twenty-five sculptors in the universe who can surpass 
this work.' " 

Tomb of Hamiltxin. 



born in Massachusetts, on the second of March, 
1737, and was of the fifth generation, on whom 
the family estate had devoh^ed. His education 
was plain, and suited to agricultural pursuits. 
Although hred to a farmer's life, he very early 
displayed a fondness for military life. By the 
reading of military works, he became intimately acquainted with 
the profession of arms. In 1765, he was elected a member of 
the ancient and honorable artillery company of Boston. Immedi- 
ately after this, at the solicitation of the colonel of the first regiment 
of Suffolk militia, he was commissioned by Governor Bernard to 
command the colonel's own company. He subsequently served as 
lieutenant, and aftewards as captain of that ancient and honorable 
corps, into which he had first been received. A strong private 
attachment grew up between Governor Bernard and Captain Heath, 
notwithstanding a difference of opinion with respect to the troubles 
which were then in embryo. 

About the time of the Boston massacree, 1770, Captain Heath 
commenced a series of addresses to the public, signed " A Military 
Countryman." In these addresses, he pointed out to the colonists 
the importance of acquiring a knowledge of arms, and an acquaint- 
ance with military discipline. 

Governor Hutchinson, successor to Bernard, in reorganizing the 
Suffolk militia, left Captain Heath out of his command, in conse- 
quence of his known attachment to the colonial rights. When, 
however, the crisis had so far advanced, that the colonists determined 

to choose their own officers, to prepare for a final appeal for redress 




of grievances, Captain Heath was chosen by the officers of the first 
regiment pf militia of Suffolk county to be their colonel. 

In 1775, the Provincial Congress, which then held their sittings at 
Cambridge, appointed Colonel Heath one of their generals. The 
generals then appointed were authorized to oppose, with the troops 
under their respective commands, the carryinginto execution of the act 
of the British parliament, for the better regulation of the province 
of Massachusetts Bay in New England. This was one of the most 
impolitic measures the British ministry could have adopted ; instead 
of its producing the anticipated result, it only served to blow into 
a flame the embers of discontent, which sound policy would have 
induced them to extinguish. Resistance to this act, and to others 
equally tyrannical, was regarded by the colonists as an imperative 

General Heath was actively employed in the fulfilment of the 
duties assigned him, both as a general officer and as a member of the 
committee of safety, of which latter he had been made a member. 
The battles of Lexington and Bunker Hill witnessed his devotion 
to the colonial rights. The day following the battle of Lexington, 
he appointed Mr. Joseph Ward his aid-de-camp and secretary. A 
few days subsequent to the battle. General Heath was ordered with 
four regiments to Roxbury, where he remained until July. In the 
organization of the army by the Continental Congress, General Heath 
was the fourth brigadier general in numerical order, previous to 




which arrangement being known in camp, he had received a commis- 
sion of major-general from the Provincial Congress. 

BOUT the time the Americans were fortify- 
ing themselves in Cambridge and Roxbury, 
General Heath prevailed upon Captain 
Henry Knox, of the Boston grenadiers, to 
join the army. The disposition of Knox 
did not require much eloquence to induce 
him to engage in the defence of the colo- 
nies. He subsequently rose to the chief 
command of the artillery, and was de- 
servedly high in the public estimation 
throughout the war. 
On the night of the 23d of November, 1775, General Heath was 
ordered with a detachment to Cobble's Hill, to complete the works 
begun the preceding evening by a fatigue party under General Put- 
nam. While the work was going on, General Heath pointed out to 
his men how to act, so as to receive the least possible injury from the 
fire of the enemy's floating batteries in the adjacent waters. Heath 
was relieved, as Putnam had been, and his men retired from the 
position uninjured and unmolested. The main army remained in the 
vicinity of Boston, occasionally skirmishing with the enemy until 
March, 1776. The defensive works which had been thrown up 
during this period were of much service, so much, in fact, that the 
British garrison were obliged to evacuate Boston on the 17th of 
March, and retire to Halifax. 

On the 20th of March, General Heath was ordered to New York 
with the troops under General Putnam, destined for the defence of 
that important station. In the following August, Generals Spencer, 
Greene, Sullivan and Heath, respectively received from Congress 
commissions as major-generals, dating from the 9th of the same 

After his promotion, the command of the troops posted above 
King's bridge, and of all troops and stations on the north end of 
York Island, was given him. While the main body of the enemy 
were engaged in active operations on Long Island, a brig and two 
ships anchored a little above Frog Point. General Heath detached 
Colonel Graham, with his regiment, to prevent any of their crews 
from landing. The different operations of the enemy kept the 
general incessantly engaged in the duties of his station. 

In September, in consequence of information which he had re- 
ceived, General Heath devised a plan for carrying oflT some British 
with their baggage, who were remaining on Montrefore Island. The 

heath's services in new .tersev. 419 

plan however failed, the detachment was compelled to return, with the 
loss of fifteen in killed, wounded, and missing-. During this month 
the various movements of the British gave the general full em- 

Immediately after the capture of the Hessians at Trenton, and the 
battle of Princeton, which General Washington communicated to 
General Heath in the beginning of J-anuary, 1777, he was ordered 
to move his force towards New York, to impress a belief on the 
enemy, that that city was the object of his attention. The object 
of this feint was to afford the enemy an opportunity of facilitating 
their retreat through New Jersey. 

In pursuance of these orders the general was engaged in carrying 
them into execution until the 10th of March, when he obtained 
leave of absence from the commander-in-chief, for a short time to 
visit his family. On his return he was invested with the command 
of the eastern department, in consequence of the resignation of 
General Ward. He therefore immediately retraced his steps to 
Boston, in order to assume the duties incumbent upon him in the sta- 
tion assigned him. 

The active duties of so important a station occupied the general's 
attention incessantly ; and when the surrender of Burgoyne took 
place, his troops being sent prisoners to Boston, the charge of them 
of course fell upon General Heath as commander of the eastern 
department of the army. This was a delicate duty, and attended 
with considerable difficulty. 

The numerous difficulties which had impeded the fulfilment of the 
articles of the capitulation of the British army to General Gates, 
were so far removed by the latter part of March, as to permit the 
return of General Burgoyne to England. After General Burgoyne's 
departure, General Heath entered into a negotiation with the British 
General Pigot for the future supply of the whole captive army. 
This act received the approval of Congress. 

On the 17th of June, a British officer was shot by an American 
sentinel ; the moment General Heath became acquainted with the 
circumstance, he ordered the sentinel placed under arrest, and a 
coroner's inquest to be held over the body of the deceased, and ac- 
quainted General Phillips with the circuriistance, and the proceedings 
which he had ordered thereon. It appeared by the coroner's inquest, 
that the deceased, (Lieutenant Brown, of the twenty-first regiment,) 
in company with two females, had attempted to pass the line of 
sentinels without complying with the necessary formalities. Some 
little difficulty now occurred between General Phillips, the senior 
captive officer, and General Heath, but Heath was steady to his duty, 


and Phillips was obliged to submit. In the case of Brown's death, the 
course pursued by General Heath received the approval of Congress, 
as appeared by a resolution passed by that body, July 7th, 1778. 

On the 12th of November, 1778, General Heath was replaced in 
the eastern department by General Gates, and on the 2d of April, 
the command again devolved upon him. He remained in Boston till 
June, when he received orders from General Washington to join the 
main army. On the 23d of June he was invested with the command 
of all the colonial troops east of the Hudson river. This change of 
situation brought him again into the duties of the field, from which 
his situation at the head of the eastern department had for some time 
relieved him. On the 30th of June, he received a notification from 
John Jay, Esq., President -of Congress, announcing his election as a 
commissioner of the board of war, with a salary of four thousand 
dollars per annum, retaining at the same time his rank in the army. 
This proffer of Congress Heath declined, as he manifested a wish to 
remain in the station which he then held. 

On the 1 1th of July, General Heath, according to orders from Gen- 
eral Washington, marched his division for Bedford, in Connecticut, 
where he arrived on the 14th, and finding that the British shipping 
had gone down the Sound toward New York, he took a strong position 
between Bedford and Ridgefield. In order to withdraw the attention 
of the British from Connecticut, General Washington planned the 
surprise of Stony Point, which General W^ayne so gallantly executed. 
On the Americans removing from Stony Point, General Heath was 
ordered to proceed with his division to Peekskill, and supersede Gen- 
eral Robert Howe. He also prevented General Sir Henry Clinton 
from executing his design of cutting off the retreat of General Howe, 
by taking possession of all the passes in the highlands. General 
Heath was actively engaged with his division until the end of the 
campaign. On the 28th of November General Washington invested 
him with the command of all the troops and posts on the Hudson 
river. This was considered the key of communication between the 
eastern and southern states. 

In the latter end of February, he obtained permission from Wash- 
ington to visit his family and friends in New England. In June he 
was ordered to repair to Providence, Rhode Island, to meet the 
commander of the French forces and fleet, which were daily expected. 
The fleet arrived at Newport, on the 1 1th of July, and the general 
repaired thither, where he was introduced to Count Rochambeau, 
and the Chevalier Ternay, commanders of the French land and sea 
forces. Here commenced a close intimacy between General Heath 
and Count Rochambeau, which lasted during the whole war. 



Count Booham'beau. 

On the 1st of October, General Heath, left Newport, m order to 
take command of West Point, in place of General Greene, who had 
been ordered to supersede General Gates in the southern states. 
Complimentary letters of leave passed between Generals Rocham- 
beau and Heath. On the 17th General Heath assumed the command 
of West Point, and the predatory excursions of the enemy afforded 
him sufficient employ. In July, 1781, he was appointed to com- 
mand the right wing of the main army, then encamped at Phillips- 

Tn the following August, General Washington confidentially com- 
municated to General Heath, a blow, which he intended to strike the 
enemy, for which purpose he detached a portion of the army south- 
ward, leaving Heath in command of the main army during his absence, 
with orders to act only on the defensive. On the 28th of October, 
he received a despatch from Washington, announcing the success of 
the meditated blow, which had terminated in the surrender of Corn- 
wallis and the British army at Yorktown, in Virginia. 

General Washington returned from the south in the following April, 
and established his head-quarters at Newburg, on the west bank of 
the Hudson river. On resuming the command, General Washington 



"Wasliirigton's Head-Quarters at NewbTxrg. 

publicly returned his thanks to General Heath for the successful 
execution of the trust reposed in him, during his absence. 

The army being- now inactive, General Heath, by leave of the com- 
mander4«n-chief, proceeded on the 5th of December to visit his farm 
in Roxbury, and returned to head-quarters at Newburg on the 14th 
of April following. The revolutionary contest had now drawn to a 
close ; news had been received that a treaty of peace had been signed ; 
and on the 19th of April the welcome tidings were published at head- 
quarters. General Heath was the first officer who ordered and gave 
directions for the guard at Prospect-hill, in 1775, after the battle of the 
19th of April in that year, and he was left the last general of the day 
in the main army to perform the duties affixed to that station, 1783. 

On the 24th of June, General Heath received a letter from Gen- 
eral Washington, taking an affectionate leave of him, which was 
couched in the strongest language of friendship. On the same day 
General Heath started for his residence in Massachusetts, where, on 
his arrival, he exchanged the habiliments of a soldier for the garb of 
a private citizen. The general in the evening of his days reposed in 
domestic felicity, enjoying the reward of his toils, in the warm affec- 
tion of a people in whose cause his life had frequently been placed in 
jeopardy. General Heath died at his seat in Roxbury, January 24th, 
1814, aged seventy-seven years. 


EBULON BUTLER was born at Lyme, in 
the state of Connecticut, in the year 1731. 
He entered early in life into the service of his 
country in the provincial troops of his native 
state. In this service he remained, actively 
employed, for several years, and rose from the 
rank of an ensign to the command of a com- 
pany. He partook largely in the transactions 
of the war between the English and French, on the frontiers of 
Canada, particularly in the campaign of 1758, at Fort Edward, 
Lake George, Ticonderoga, and Crown Point. In 1761 he was 
again at Crown Point, and at that time held the rank of captain. 
The history of these transactions is well known, and need not here 
be repeated. In June, 1762, Captain Butler sailed with his com- 
pany, and the other provincial troops, to reinforce the British, then 
besieging the Havana ; and on the 20th of July, the vessel in which 
he sailed was shipwrecked on a reef of rocks on the island of Cuba. 
They were fortunate enough to escape to the shore, where they re- 
mained nine days, and were then taken on board a man of war. Five 
other ships were discovered also shipwrecked on the same side of 
the island ; and after waiting until these were relieved, they again 
steered for Havana. They arrived and anchored with the rest of 

the fleet on the 9th of August, and the next day landed and en- 



camped. The sufferings and the success of the British at the siege 
of Havana are matters of history. Captain Butler shared in the 
dangers of the remainder of the siege, as well as in the honors and 
profits of the surrender, which took place shortly after the arrival 
of the reinforcements. 

On the 21st of October, 1762, Captain Butler sailed out of the 
harbor of Havana, on his return, on board the Royal Duke transport. 
On the 7th of November, in latitude 35, she ship sprung a leak, and 
it was by the greatest exertions for three days that she could be kept 
afloat until the men were transferred to other ships. When this 
was accomplished they left the Royal Duke to sink. He arrived at 
New York on the 21st day of December. 

When the aggressions of the British ministry compelled their 
American colonies to take up arms in defence of their rights, Captain 
Butler was among the first to tender his services to his country. His 
offer was accepted, and he was appointed a lieutenant-colonel in the 
Connecticut line. In this capacity he was with the army in the cam- 
paign of 1777, in New Jersey, and served until 1779, when he was 
appointed colonel of the second Connecticut regiment, to rank as 
such from the 13th of March, 1778. Some time previous to this, 
Colonel Butler had become interested in lands purchased of the 
Indians by the Susquehanna company, lying in the valley of Wyo- 
ming, and adjacent to the Susquehanna river. He had visited the 
valley, and was so much pleased with it, that he determined to 
remove into it. This flourishing settlement had been established 
by the people of Connecticut, and was claimed by them by virtue of 
their charter and their purchase from the Indians. It consisted of 
several large townships, beautifully situated on both sides of the 
river ; and that part of it which is included in the valley of Wyoming 
was, and still is, one of the most delightful spots in our country. Its 
situation, soil, and scenery, cannot be surpassed. It had long been 
the favorite abode of the savages, and they viewed, with peculiar 
animosity, its occupancy by strangers. The war in which the colo- 
nists were engaged with the mother country, and the encouragement 
and protection held out by the British to the Indians, afforded the 
latter a good opportunity for gratifying their wicked designs, in the 
destruction of this remote settlement. This they, in conjunction 
with the British tories, effectually accomplished in July, 1778. 

This settlement, at an early period of our revolutionary struggle, 
had been drained of its effective force, by furnishing two companies, 
of ninety men each, to the continental army. Soon after the depar- 
ture of these troops, the Indians began to assume a hostile attitude, 
and their conduct, together with other suspicious circumstances, 


led the inhabitants to suspect that some mischief was meditating 
against them, though they did not apprehend an immediate attack. 
For their better security, several stockade forts were built in the 
different townships, and a company of rangers was raised, under the 
command of Captain Hewitt. This company was destined to remain 
in the valley for its defence, and to ascertain by its scouts the move- 
ments of the Indians, some of whom were located at their Indian 
towns, about fifty miles up the Susquehanna. In the spring of 1778, 
the settlers, fearing an attack, sent an express to the board of war, 
to represent the danger in which the settlement at Wyoming was of 
being destroyed by the Indians and tories, and to request that the 
men who had gone from the valley, and joined the continental army, 
might be ordered to return, and assist in the defence of their homes. 
Their request was granted, and a company, commanded by Captain 
Spalding, composed of what remained of the two companies before 
mentioned as having been enlisted at Wyoming, set out for the valley, 
and were within two days' march of it, on the day of the fatal battle. 
About the first of June, the same year, a scouting party from Captain 
Hewitt's company discovered a number of canoes, with Indians, on 
the river at some distance above the settlement, and a few days after 
a party of Indians attacked, and killed or made prisoners, nine or ten 
men, while at work on the bank of the river, about ten miles above 
the fort. Many circumstances indicated the approach of a large 
body of the enemy. Such was the situation of the settlement when 
Colonel Butler arrived. This was the latter part of June, and but a 
few days before the battle. On the first of July, the militia under 
the command" of Colonel Denison, with all others who were capable 
and willing to bear arms, assembled at the fort in Wilkesbarre, being 
the principal fort. They made an excursion against the enemy, killed 
two Indians, and found the bodies of the men who had been mur- 
dered by them. When they returned, each man was obliged to go 
to his own house and furnish himself with provisions, as there were 
none collected at the fort. In consequence of this dispersion, they 
were not able to assemble again until the 3d of July, Avhen their 
whole strength amounted to about three hundred and fifty men. 

It probably would have been greater, but many of the settlers 
chose rather to remain in the other forts for the purpose of defending 
their families and property, in which they naturally felt a greater in- 
terest than in the general welfare. Of the whole force, consisting 
of the militia Captain Hewitt's company of rangers, and a few 
volunteers, including several officers and soldiers of the regular army, 
who happened to be in the valley. Colonel Butler w^as requested to 
take the command. The whole, as before stated, amounted to about 


three hundred and fifty men, indifferently furnished with arms and 

As the enemy had entered the valley at the upper end, and had 
advanced directly towards the fort, in which the settlers were as- 
sembled, the object of the savages was supposed to be to attack them 
in the fort. The enemy had taken fort Wintermote, and one other 
small fort, and burnt them, and were burning and laying waste the 
whole country in their progress. Colonel Butler held a consultation 
with the officers, and it was decided to be best to go out and inter- 
cept the progress of the enemy, if possible, and put an end to the 
scene of devastation which they witnessed. Being perfectly acquainted 
with the country, they marched out some distance from the fort, and 
formed on the bank of a creek, in a very advantageous situation. 
Here they lay concealed, expecting that the enemy would advance 
to attack the fort, and knowing that if they did so they would pass 
the place where the Americans were in ambush. In this situation 
they remained near half a day, but no enemy appearing, a council 
was called, in which there was a difference of opinion as to the 
expediency of advancing and attacking the enemy, or of returning to 
the fort, there to defend themselves until the arrival of Captain 
Spalding's company, which was daily expected. On the one hand, 
the hope of succour, and their uncertainty as to the strength of the 
enemy, were urged as reasons for returning ; and on the other, the 
destruction of the whole country, which would inevitably follow such 
a step, together with the insufficiency of the fort, and the want of 
provisions to enable them to stand a siege, were powerful reasons in 
favor of risking an immediate battle. Captain Lazarus Stewart, a 
brave man, famous in the country for his exploits among the Indians, 
and whose opinion had much weight, urged an immediate attack ; 
declaring that if they did not march forward that day and attack the 
enemy, he would withdraw with his whole company. This left them 
no alternative, and they advanced accordingly. 

They had not gone above a mile, before the advance guard fired 
upon some Indians who were in the act of plundering and burning a 
house. These fled to their camp, and gave the alarm that the Ameri- 
cans were approaching. Fort Wintermote was at this time the head- 
quarters of the enemy. Their whole force, consisting of Indians, 
British, and tories, was, as near as could be afterwards ascertained, 
about one thousand men, and was commanded by Colonel John But- 
ler, an officer of the British army, and an Indian chief called Brandt. 
They were apparently unapprised of the movements of the Ameri- 
cans, until the return to the main body of those Indians who had 
been fired upon. They immediately extended themselves in a line 




from the fort, across a plain covered with pine trees and underbrush. 
When formed, the right of the enemy rested on a swamp, and their 
left on Fort Wintermote. The Americans marched to the attack 
also in a line, Colonel Zebulon Butler leading on the right wing, 
opposed by Colonel John Butler, at the head of the British troops, 
painted to resemble Indians ; Colonel Denison was on the left, and 
opposed by Brandt and the Indians. In this position, the parties 
engaged, and each supported its ground for some time with much 
firmness. At length the Americans on the right had the advantage 
of the fight, having forced the enemy's left wing to retire some dis- 
tance. But on the left the battle soon wore a different aspect. The 
Indians, having penetrated the swamp, were discovered attempting 
to get into their rear. Colonel Denison immediately gave orders 
for the left to fall back and meet them as they came out of the 
swamp. This order was misunderstood, and some of the men or offi- 
cers cried out, "the colonel orders a retreat." The left immediately 
gave way, and before they could be undeceived as to the object of 
the order, the line broke, and the Indians rushed on with hideous 
yells. Colonel Zebulon Butler, who had continued on horseback 
throughout the day, finding that the right wing was doing well, rode 
towards the left. When he got a little more than half-way down 
the line, he discovered that his men were retreating, and that he was 



between the two fires, and near the advancing line of the enemy. 
The right had no notice of the retreat, until the firing on the left 
had ceased, and the yelling of the savages indicated their success. 
This wing, no longer able to maintain its ground, was forced to 
retreat, and the rout soon became general. The officers were prin- 
cipally killed in their ineffectual attempts to rally the men. The 
defeat was total, and the loss in killed was variously estimated at 
from two to three hundred of the settlers. Of Captain Hewitt's com- 
pany but fifteen escaped. The loss of the enemy was also consider- 
able. Colonels Butler and Denison, although much exposed to the 
enemy's fire, escaped. Colonel Butler collected four or five men 
together in their flight, directed them to retain their arms, and when 
any of the Indians, who were scattered over the plain, hunting for 
their victims, approached the little party, they fired upon them, and 
by this means they secured their retreat to Forty fort. Many of the 
settlers, at the commencement of their flight, had thrown away their 
arms, that they might be better able to escape. But this was of no 
avail, for the Indians overtook and killed them with their tomahawks. 

HE few that escaped, assembled at Forty 
fort ; but the inhabitants were so much 
disheartened by their defeat, that they 
were ready to submit upon any terms 
that might be offered. The enemy re- 
fused to treat with Colonel Butler, or to 
give quarter to any continental officer or 
soldier. Indeed, it had been determined, 
if they were taken, to deliver them 
into the hands of the Indians. Colonel 
Butler then left the valley, and proceeded 
to a place on the Lehigh, called Gnaden- 
hutten. On the fourth of July, Colonel Denison and Colonel John 
Butler entered into articles of capitulation for the surrender of the 
settlement. By these articles it was stipulated, among other things, 
that " the lives of the inhabitants should be preserved," and that they 
should " occupy their farms peaceably ;" that " the continental stores 
should be given up," and that "the private property of the inhabit- 
ants should be preserved entire and unhurt." The enemy then 
marched into the fort ; but the conditions of the capitulation were 
entirely disregarded on their part. The Indians plundered the 
inhabitants indiscriminately, and stripped them even of such of their 
wearing apparel as they chose to take. Complaint w-as made to 
Colonel John Butler, who turned his back upon them, saying he 
could not control the Indians, and walked out of the fort. The 


people, finding that they were left to the mercy of the tories and 
savages, fled from the valley, and made the best of their way, about 
fifty miles, through the wilderness, to the nearest settlement of their 
friends, leaving their property a prey to the enemy. All the houses 
on the north-west side of the Susquehanna were plundered and burnt. 
They afterwards plundered and burnt the town of Wilkesbarre. 
Having accomplished their hellish purpose of destruction and desola- 
tion, the main body of the enemy returned to Niagara, taking with 
them all the horses, cattle, and other property which they did not 
think proper to destroy, leaving behind them nothing but one vast, 
melancholy scene of universal desolation. 

It may be proper to notice the generally received opinion, that 
Colonel Zebulon Butler and Colonel John Butler were cousins. This 
is a mistake. Both the parties denied having any knowledge of any 
relationship subsisting between them. 

From Gnadenhutten, Colonel Butler wrote to the board of war, 
giving an account of the fatal disaster of the third of July. He then 
went to Stroudsburg, in Northampton county, where he found Cap- 
tain Spalding's company, and some fugitives from Wyoming. Colo- 
nel Butler was ordered to collect what force he could, and with 
Spalding's company return and retake possession of the country. This 
he did in the month of August following. On his return to the valley, 
he found some straggling Indians, and also a small party driving off 
cattle. These were soon dispersed, and their booty taken from them. 
He immediately erected a fort at Wilkesbarre, and established a 
garrison. By orders from the board of war, he continued in the com- 
mand of the place until the fall of 1780, during which time the 
garrison and the inhabitants generally suffered from the incursions 
of the Indians. Several lives were lost, and they killed a number 
of the Indians, though no general battle was fought. General Sulli- 
van's expedition checked for a while their ravages. He arrived in 
Wyoming in the spring of 1779, and as soon as proper arrangements 
could be made, he marched into the country of the Indians, leaving 
Colonel Butler in the command of Wyoming. 

By orders from General Washington, dated, " Head-Quarters, 
New Windsor, December 29th, 1780," Colonel Butler was directed 
to deliver the post at Wyoming to Captain Alexander Mitchell, and 
to march with the men under his command and join the army. This 
was stated by General Washington to be in consequence of " Con- 
gress having, in order to remove all cause of jealousy and discontent 
between the states of Pennsylvania and Connecticut, directed me to 
withdraw the present garrison of Wyoming, and replace them with 
troops from the continental army, not belonging to the line of Penn- 



sylvania or Connecticut, or citizens of either of said states." In 
obedience to these orders, he repaired to head-quarters, and remained 
with the army during the rest of the war. 

In the unhappy dispute between the citizens of Connecticut and 
Pennsylvania, arising out of the claims which the latter advanced to 
the lands on the Susquehanna, upon which the former had settled. 
Colonel Butler took an active part in favor of the Connecticut set- 
tlers. He considered them as acting on the defensive, and the 
others as the aggressors. Open hostilities commenced between the 
parties as early as 1769, and were continued until after the revolu- 
tionary war. The New England people were twice driven from their 
settlements, though they returned immediately with reinforcements, 
and repossessed themselves of the country. Many lives were lost 
on both sides, and innumerable hardships endured, during this unfor- 
tunate contest. No very general engagement ever took place between 
the parties. The principal array of forces which was at any time 
made against each other, was at the defeat of Captain Plunket, in 
1775. This officer had marched from Northumberland, for the pur- 
pose of dispossessing the settlers at Wyoming, and taking possession 
of it themselves in the name of the Pennsylvania claimants. Colonel 
Butler with a party of settlers met them at the lower end of the 
valley, defeated them, and drove them back. The decree of Tren- 
ton, as it is called, put an end to hostilities, by determining, that the 
jurisdiction of the state of Pennsylvania extended over the disputed 
territory. To this determination Colonel Butler, with most of the 
settlers, yielded. After the war he continued to reside at Wyoming, 
and received appointments under the state of Pennsylvania, particu- 
larly the situation of lieutenant of the county. He died at Wilkes- 
barre, on the 28th of July, 1795, in the sixty-fourth year of his age. 



sprang from an ancient 
and honorable family, re- 
sident, previously to 1650, 
in the west of England, 
which through six successive genera- 
tions of its existence on this continent, 
was notable for its attachment to mili- 
tary life. Anthony White, the first 
ancestor of the name that came from 
England, was a zealous officer in the 
royalist army, who distinguished himself sufficiently in the civil wars 
to win the approbation of his unfortunate master, equally with the 
dislike of the Roundheads. Shortly after the execution of Charles, 
still faithful to his house, and more and more digusted with the 
political aspect of the times, having secured by some means or 
other the remnant of a large fortune, he sailed, originally with 
the intention of settling in Virginia ; the vessel, however, stopping 
at the Bermuda Islands he there became fixed, and subsequently, 





WiUiam HL 

intimately connected with the government of those islands. Upon 
the restoration, he was appointed a member of King's council, and 
chief of one of the groups, an office which appears to have been 
hereditary, as it w^as attached to the elder branch of the family for 
several generations. At the commencement of the political differ- 
ences which resulted in the establishment of the Prince of Orange 
as William III. of England, and his wife upon the throne, Anthony 
White, the second of the name, inheriting his father's military, but 
not his political predilections, became an active partisan of the 
whigs, and being appointed a lieutenant-colone], served with the 
army in Ireland, till hostilities terminated in the battle of the Boyne. 
As a reward for his services, he was shortly afterwards sent out to 
his native islands, as a member of the king's council in their govern- 
ment, and as chief justice of the whole group. He was succeeded as 
chief of .one of the groups by his eldest son, Leonard White, who, 
with the hereditary thirst still unquenched, had obtained in the 
early part of his life, a commission in the British navy, and served 
with honorable distinction in the wars of the succession. Anthony 


White, the eldest son of of Leonard White, in extreme youth, about 
1715, sailed for New York, for the purpose of recruiting his health, 
by the change of climate. After a year's residence there, he married 
into a distinguished family of Dutch descent, and his health again be- 
coming delicate, he soon after sailed for home, and died on the 
passage out. His widow, as if to restore the broken military suc- 
cession, married an officer of distinction in the British navy, and the 
son and only child, after having amassed a large fortune by various 
civil offices in the state of New Jersey, obtained through the influ- 
ence of his family, and farmed out to great advantage, at last took 
up the profession of arms. He was commissioned a lieutenant- 
colonel, in 1751, and saw some service in the French and Indian 
war which followed. Upon the occurrence of the events which im- 
mediately preceded the declaration of independence, being advanced 
in years, he retired altogether from public life, but beheld with pride 
and satisfaction his only son select that party whose principles had 
already infected all the chivalry of the country. 

Anthony Walton White, the sixth of the name, and the last repre- 
sentative of the family in America, was the fourth child, and only 
son of Anthony White, and Elizabeth Morris, — daughter of Governor 
Lewis Morris, — and was born on the 7th July, 1750, at his father's 
country seat, near New Brunswick, New Jersey, taking the names of 
his father, and his relative, and godfather, Mr. William Walton of 
New York. Of his early life, there are no records to show him 
the hero of romantic adventures, and the possessor of the martial 
spirit of his family. The only son of a family eminently in the pa 
tronage of the government, and educated under the supervision of 
his father, with the expectation of inheriting large estates, he was 
intended for no particular profession or occupation, other than that 
pertaining to a large landholder, in a young country half wilder- 
ness, as yet, and in times, when the mutterings of political difficul- 
ties were first becoming audible, though, in 1761, at the early age 
of eleven, we find him with the insatiable cupidity characteristic of 
the servants of a monarchy, in possession of several important and 
lucrative offices, farmed in like manner as those of his father, and no 
doubt with equal benefit. Without any event to distinguish his life, he 
remained thus, the nominal holder of these offices, quietly pursuing 
his studies with his father, and assisting him in the care of his estate, 
till the outbreak of the memorable Revolution, when an ardent dis- 
position, and a sincere love of country, induced him to seek adventure 
in the martial service of his native land. In October, 1775, he re- 
ceived his first military appointment, as aid to General Washington, 
in whose military family, first hearing the din of war, he continued 


till commissioned by Congress, in February, 1776, a lieutenant- 
colonel of the third battalion of New Jersey troops, and as commander 
of the outposts of the army under Washington, was actively engaged 
in the service at the north, till 1780. In February of that year, he 
was appointed lieutenant-colonel commandant of the first regiment of 
cavalry, and shortly afterward, was ordered by General Washington 
to the south, to take command of all the cavalry in the southern 
army. In July, of 1780, having been repeatedly urged by General 
Gates to hasten the equipment of the cavalry, and with all despatch 
to join the army, then about marching to meet Cornwallis in South 
Carolina, despairing of assistance from the government of Virginia, 
which had passed resolutions for the purpose, but was unable at 
that time to carry them into effect, Colonel White, actuated with an 
honorable zeal for the service, procured upon his own personal credit, 
the funds necessary to remount and support for a short time two 
regiments, with which he marched to join General Gates, but not in 
time for the unfortunate battle of the 16th of August, at Camden, 
lost from a want of calvary. Early in the spring of 178 1, Colonel 
White was ordered to Virginia, again to co-operate with the army 
under La Fayette, against Cornwallis, and was engaged in skirmish- 
ing with various success against the celebrated Colonel Tarleton, 
until the junction of the army under General Washington, from the 
north, with that under La Fayette, and the capture of Cornwallis at 

In December following, Colonel White, with his command, again 
marched southward to the Carolinas, where he was employed for 
some months in watching, and endeavoring to check the operations 
of his old friend, though enemy, Colonel Tarleton. From thence he 
proceeded to Georgia, where he contributed largely, by the boldness 
of his charge, with a part of the cavalry, in effecting a happy result 
to the manoeuvre of General Wayne, on the 21st of May, 1782, 
before Savannah. Upon the evacuation of that place by the British 
forces, he returned to South Carolina, and entered Charleston, imme- 
diately after the retirement of the enemy, where the generosity that 
distinguished him was again exemplified, by his becoming security 
for the payment of debts incurred by the officers and men of his 
regiments, who had entered the city in want of almost all the neces- 
saries of life. By agreements between himself and his officers and 
men, he was to be protected from ultimate loss, by payments in 
tobacco — which seems to have been the only sustained currency of 
the times, — contracted to be delivered to him at Charleston, on a 
certain distant day. Owing to the failure of the crops of that year, 
or to the inability of the officers to fulfil their contracts. Colonel 



White was obliged, for the satisfaction of his creditors, to part with 
property at the enormous sacrifices peculiar to that period. With 
this transaction commenced a series of unfortunate pecuniary diffi- 
culties, which at last reduced him from wealth, to dependency upon 
the precarious charity of his country. 

N the spring of 1783, Colonel White, while 
still in Charleston, was married to the 
young, beautiful, and wealthy Margaret 
Ellis, of that place, who, at the early age 
of fifteen, brought up in the terrible school 
of a city held by a foreign and mercenary 
enemy, exhibited the accomplished mind, 
and firmness of temper, which still charac- 
terize and sustain her, in the sunken fortune 
of her old age. 

In the spring of 1784, after the full establishment of peace, Colo- 
nel White with his family came north, to spend in retirement the 
remainder of a life, upon which fortune had, with a few trifling 
exceptions as yet, shed only a pleasant light. Unhappily for his 
expectations, he, about this time, was persuaded to embark in a 
speculation proposed by two of his friends, late officers in the army 
in which he was to furnish only the trifling items of name and funds, 
and in return, to receive the undoubtedly splendid dividends from the 
adventure. The active members in the association, in the three 
years of its operations, succeeded only in the accumulation of enor- 
mous debts, which he, as the only responsible party, was obliged to 
satisfy. Ignorant of all manner of business, liberal to extravagance, 
and careless in his general style of living, he beheld with consterna- 
tion, creditors of whom he had never before heard, like the Shylocks 
of reality, demand of him what, to a man of like constitutional 
habits, was life itself. In satisfying them he utterly sunk his own 
estates, to which, by the death of his father, he had but just suc- 

In 1793, he removed from New York Island, where he had resided 
since the war, to the city of New Brunswick, in his native state, 
where he remained during the rest of his life, holding several 
important offices, together with the rank of adjutant, and afterward 
brigadier-general conferred upon him by the state. 

In 1794, he entered again for a short time, upon military life, 
being appointed by President Washington, general of cavalry in the 
expedition under Lee, against the western insurgents, in the delicate 
management of which, he won not only unqualified approbation of 
the government, and the esteem of the inhabitants of the district 


in which the army was quartered, but also the respect and gratitude 
of the prisoners, whom upon the close of the expedition he conducted 
to Philadelphia. 

For several years after his last active military employment, General 
White lived in peaceful seclusion at his home in the city of New 
Brunswick, dividing his time between his books, and the fascinating 
and accomplished society around him, of which Governor Paterson, 
and Colonel John Bayard, of Delaware, his brothers-in-law, his guest 
and friend the celebrated Kosciusko, and Judge Morris, of New 
Jersey, formed the most notable ornaments. 

But misfortune still jDursued him, and unseen and unanticipated, 
came upon him with that greater terribleness, which in ancient 
unchristian times would have been attributed to the malignancy of 
some unpropitiated deity. The fortune of his wife, which even the 
depreciation of the currency, and the insolvency of the states, 
had still left great, was almost completely wrecked by the cupidity 
and improvidence of a man, alike distinguished in public and private 
life, and in whom a confidence had been reposed, deserving of a 
better return. Broken in spirit, health, and fortune. General White, 
shortly after this occurrence, thought he saw an angel of comfort 
lovingly approach him, when he meditated upon the gratitude of 
republics. Impressed with the justice of his claims and the neces- 
sity of his circumstances, he petitioned Congress for the repayment 
of the m.oney he had expended in 1780, for the support of his regi- 
ments, and which in the settlement of his accounts with the state of 
Virginia, had not been allowed for want of full legal evidence. In 
consequence of the confusion of the times, this had unfortunately 
been lost. After frequently raising his hopes, and as often depress- 
ing them, Congress at last resolved that the government was adverse 
to all claims of revolutionary officers just or otherwise. 

Baffled in his expectations of relief, and now well instructed in the 
great truth, that on earth, belief in the attainment of justice, was as 
often visionary as many a dream of youth, and broken-hearted by 
this striking exemplificSftion of the neglect and ingratitude of repub- 
lics, for those who serve them, General White shortly after died, 
at the early age of fifty-three, leaving ta his widow and daughter, 
the same comfortable reflections, that hastened, prematurely, his 
own decease. 

In person. General White was tall and elegantly formed, and was 
remarkable for the extreme regularity of his features, and the fine 
expression of his face, the dignity and grace of his manner, the scru- 
pulous attention to his dress, which distinguished the gentleman of 
his time, and for the excellence of his horsemanship. Early com- 



misioned in the cavalry service, he soon became, perhaps, the most 
accomphshed and effective rider, and the best master of horse in the 
army, and through hfe retained the soldierly bearing for which he 
was noted during his military career. 

The character of General White, briefly, might be recorded by 
those two words, with which the poet, in his elevated ideas, of 
humanity, w^ell described the noblest work of God. He was gay, 
without approaching licentiousness ; a man of the world, without 
hypocrisy or degradation of the affections, ardent and impetuous to 
rashness, hospitable to extravagance, possessing the spirit of chivalry 
without its Quixotism, vain and proud in the contemplation of his 
own rectitude, yet never offending the self-love of others, generous 
and charitable, while forgetful of his own interests. A patriot, with- 
out thought of reward or distinction, practising the principles of 
Christianity, without displaying them by moroseness, bigotry, or 
Pharisaical ostentation, and to the time of his death, eminently 
maintaining with integrity the public and private relations of life, 
in which destiny had placed him. Born a favorite child of fortune, 
while such, he possessed, and exercised, and rejoiced in all the bril- 
liant and fascinating qualities, with which men shine in society, and 
when in later years he saw wealth, and with it its eclat, take to itself 
wings, though dismayed and despondent, still he faltered not in the 
principles that had characterized his life, but wrapping about him 
the robe of patient endurance, like the stern old Roman, died v/ith 
the grace that became one who could not with dignity complain. 


ONATHAN WILLIAMS was born in Boston, 
in the year 1750, and from his childhood, he 
received the best English education, which the 
opportunities of that place then afforded. In- 
tended for the profession of his father, who 
was largely engaged in commercial affairs, 
Jonathan was early taken from school and 
placed in the counting-house. Desirous of im- 
proving himself, he devoted his evenings and other leisure moments 
to the acquirement of knowledge ; by this means he gained con- 
siderable proficiency in the classics, and a ready and familiar 
acquaintance with the French language, both in speaking and writing 
it. His being engaged in commercial pursuits, enabled him to make 
a number of voyages to many of the West India Islands, and to 
various parts of Europe. His letters of business from these places 
displayed much maturity of observation and judgment. In the year 
1770, he made his first voyage to England, in company with his 



brother and an tincle, Mr. John Williams, who had been a local com- 
missioner under the British government. On his arrival in London, 
he w^as received with great kindness by his grand-uncle, Dr. Franklin, 
who insisted upon his making his residence his home, during his 
stay in England. Mr. Williams remained about a year in England, 
during which time he travelled through a considerable part of it. 
In 1772, he again went to England. In consequence of his relation- 
ship with Dr. Franklin, he was in his various voyages intrusted with 
letters and communications on the then engrossing subject of the 
political relations between England and America ; by this means he 
became acquainted with the most prominent men of that day, and 
though then very young in mental cultivation and resources, he was 
their fit companion. 

In a letter written in September, 1774, from England, to his 
father, he says : " With regard to politics, nothing has occurred, nor 
do I think any thing will happen till the parliament sits, when I dare 
say there will be warm work, and I have great hope that American 
affairs will wear a better aspect ; for the ministry, I have reason to 
think, will find a greater opposition than they expect. 

"Unanimity and firmness must gain the point. I can't help repeat- 
ing it, though I believe I have written it twenty times before. The 
newspapers which used to be the vehicles of all kinds of abuse'on 
the poor Bostonians, are now full of pieces in our favor. Here and 
there an impertinent scribbler, like an expiring candle flashing from 
the socket, shows, by his scurrility, the weakness of his cause, and 
the corruptness of his heart." 

In 1775, he made a short visit to France, of w-hich, in one of his 
letters, he thus speaks : " I have passed two months in the most 
agreeable manner possible, except with regard to my reflections rela- 
tive to my unhappy country, which always attend me wherever I go. 
I found throughout France a general attention to our disputes with 
Britain, and to a man, all that country are in our favor. They sup- 
pose England to have arrived at its pinnacle of glory, and that the 
empire of America will rise on the ruins of this kingdom ; and I 
really believe, that when we shall be involved in civil war, they will 
gladly embrace the first opportunity of renewing their attacks on an 
old enemy, who they imagine will be so weakened by its intestine 
broils, as to become an easy conquest." 

The early destiny of Mr. Williams separated him from the country 
to which he afterwards lived to devote years of usefulness and good 
example. In 1777, he was appointed commercial agent of the 
United States, and resided principally at Nantes. In September, 
1779, he was married, at the hotel of the Dutch ambassador at 



Paris, to Mariamne, the daughter of William Alexander, of Edin- 
burgh. In 1783, he received a commission from the Farmers General 
of France, to supply them with tobacco, which was then, as it now is, 
a government monopoly. After this appointment, he removed to St. 
Germains, where he resided until 1785, when he returned with Dr. 
Franklin to the United States. In 1788, he sailed for the last time 
to England, for the purpose of bringing his family to Philadelphia, 
which he had selected as the place of his future residence. On his 
return, in 1790, he was met with the melancholy news of the death 
of his earliest, best, and kindest friend, Dr. Franklin. Mr. Williams 
purchased a country seat on the banks of the Schuylkill, near Phila- 
delphia, where he devoted his attention to mathematical investigation, 
botany, medicine, and the law, and he acquired sufficient of the last, 
to be for several years an intelligent and valuable judge of the court 
of common pleas in Philadelphia. 

In 17 94, he accompanied the forces sent to quell the western 
insurrection in Pennsylvania. In 1800, he was appointed a major 
in the United States artillery, and soon after a colonel in the corps 
of -engineers, and chief of the military academy at West Point. The 
fortress at New York which bears his name, was constructed whilst 
he was in the engineer department. It is, however, as the head of 
the^ military academy, that he rendered the most service to his coun- 
try. Under his direction, the institution steadily advanced in charac- 
ter, and all who were acquainted with its regulations and discipline, 
acknowledo^ed its advantag-es. But it was not until the heroic deeds 
of M'Rae, Gibson, Wood, and Macomb had so largely contributed to 
an honorable peace, in the war of 1812, that the military school 
became a source of interest and pride with the nation. These accom- 
plished and intrepid officers were first taught to be thorough soldiers 
by Colonel Williams. 

Colonel Williams, prevented by his peculiar station from sharing 
the duties of the field, had obtained a promise, that in case of attack, 
the fortifications he had constructed in the harbor of New York should 
be placed under his command. At the near prospect that the enemy 
would invade the city, he claimed the fulfilment of that promise, 
which was refused him ; and after a protracted correspondence wdth 
the war department, upon the subject, he resigned his commission in 
the army of the United States. Immediately after his resignation 
he was appointed by the governor of New York a brigadier-general. 

In the autumn of 1814, he was elected a member of Congress 
from the city of Philadelphia. But he did not live to requite by his 
abilities and experience, the confidence of his fellow citizens. 

On the 20th of May, 1815, his useful life terminated. Although 



he had attained his sixty-fifth year, his mind had lost none of its 
peculiar endowments ; nor had his body yielded to the decrepitude 
of old age. Had he been permitted to take his seat in the highest 
council of his country, he might have added to his honors, and won 
a statesman's fame. But the hand of an all-wise Providence had 
determined otherwise, and by his touch consecrated the memory of 
the useful citizen, the firm patriot, and the accomplished soldier. 


born in the year 1751, in 
Princeton, New Jersey, 
where he was educated. 
After leaving Princeton Col- 
lege he took charge of the academy 
at Elizabethtown, New Jersey, which 
soon became celebrated for the high 
\ state of perfection to which he brought 
it. While he was thus employed, 
Alexander Hamilton, and several 
others of those who afterwards became 
distinguished in public affairs, received the benefits of his instruction. 
The necessities of the country, induced Francis to abandon his 
peaceful occupation, and he entered the army at an early period. 
He and his brother William were officers in the Jersey line ; his 
brother John held a command in the New York line. During the 
year 1776, Francis received two commissions, one from Congress, 
dated the ninth of February, appointing him major of the third bat- 
talion of Jersey troops ; the other, which bore date the eighth of 
November, was from the New Jersey legislature, appointing him 
lieutenant-colonel of the third Jersey regiment. This appointment 
was confirmed by Congress in the commencement of the following 


year, and soon after, Colonel Barber became assistant inspector-gene- 
ral of the army, under Baron Steuben. The Baron addressed a letter 
to him at the time, in which he anticipates, from the character of 
Colonel Barber, a rapid advance in the character of the troops under 
his inspection. That his expectations were realized, may be inferred 
from the high estimation in which Colonel Barber was held by the 
commander-in-chief and other general officers. The rigidness of his 
discipline, however, did not make Colonel Barber unpopular with the 
men. He was engaged in the battles of Trenton, Princeton, Brandy- 
wine, Germantown, and Monmouth. In this latter conflict, he was 
severely wounded, yet the correspondence of General Washington 
shows that his disability from field service did not prevent him from 
employing his active mind in the service of the cause. In 1779, as 
adjutant-general, he served under General Sullivan, in his Indian 
campaign, and received a wound at the battle of Newtown. He 
was very highly complimented by General Sullivan at the close of 
the campaign, for his meritorious conduct. He was actively engaged 
at the battle of Springfield, w^here his brother-in-law. Lieutenant 
Ogden, was slain. 

To Colonel Barber was assigned the difficult task of reducing to 
subordination the Jersey line, at the time of its mutiny. In the face 
of their threat to shoot any officer who should molest them, Colonel 
Barber entered upon the execution of this duty, and his personal 
popularity had the influence of restraining many of the mutinous, 
and of preparing the way for the final success of General Washing- 
ton's measures to restore order. 

In 1781, Colonel Barber accompanied the army to Yorktow^n, and 
was present at its siege and capture. The termination of the war 
soon followed, but on the day when General W^ashington intended 
to communicate to the officers the news of peace, the life of Colonel 
Barber was brought to a sudden close. Many of the officers, and 
such of their wives as were in camp, were invited to dine with the 
commander-in-chief, and among them Colonel Barber and his wife. 
He was acting as officer of the day at the time, and in the perform- 
ance of his duty, happened to pass a place where some soldiers were 
felling a tree, which accidentally fell upon him, crushing horse and 
rider instantly to death. His seeming untimely fate was universally 
lamented, and his widow received letters of sympathy and condolence 
from many in every rank, who knew his virtues and deplored his loss 


HE American revolutionary contest 
is memorable, for having called into 
its service the aid of many distin- 
guished foreigners, soldiers of liberty, and 
volunteers in the cause of an oppressed 
people, struggling to defend their liberties. 
Among the most celebrated of these, was 
Kosciusko, one of the first and bravest of the 
Polish patriots. Although it does not appear 
that he performed much, or any very impor- 
tant service, in the American war, yet from his distinguished cha- 



racter as a patriot, and the noble struggles he has made, in defence 
of the independence of his own country, and to realize the last 
hopes of his friends, a sketch of his life cannot but be interesting, 
and properly belongs to a work containing the memoirs of the mili- 
tary heroes of the American revolutionary war. This high-minded 
patriot was first distinguished in the war which terminated in the 
first dismemberment of Poland by Russia, Austria, and Prussia. 

Poland had long been distracted 
with dissensions, often breaking out 
into civil war ; and particularly since 
the conquest of the country by Charles 
XII, of Sweden, which led to the in- 
terference of Russia, and afterward 
that dangerous neighbor always had a 
strong party in Poland, and generally 
a controlling influence. Charles XII. 
conquered Augustus, and compelled 
him to abdicate in favor of Stanislaus 
Leczinski, whom he had previously 
.caused to be elected king. The armies 
of the Czar, which Augustus had 
Charles 2IL availed himself of, had not been suffi- 

cient to save him from this humiliating result. The battle of Pul- 
towa overthrew the power of Charles ; and Augustus was restored by 
the aid of Russia, the latter taking care to be well paid for its 
friendly interference. During the reign of this prince, and his son, 
Augustus II., Poland was little better than a Russian province, sur- 
rounded by Russian troops ; and the country torn to pieces by 
contentions among the nobles, they were kept on the throne only by 
the power of Russia. 

On the death of Augustus II. in 1764, Catharine II. Empress of 
Russia, compelled the Diet to elect Stanislaus Poniatowski, a Pole 
of noble rank, who had resided for some time at Petersburgh, and 
made himself agreeable to the empress, who supposed that his 
election would promote the influence and designs of Russia. This 
increased the disorders, and inflamed the rage of the two great 
parties, the Russian and anti-Russian, towards each other. At this 
time, to their political causes of dissension, were added those of 
religion. The Protestants, who in Poland were called dissidents, 
had long been tolerated, but still suifered under many civil disabili- 
ties, which were greatly increased by a decree that was pas?ed 
during the interregnum that preceded the election of Poniatowski. 
They were, in a great measure, denied the free exercise of religioUjB 


Catliarine II. 

worship, and excluded from all political privileges. This unjust and 
impolitic measure roused the spirit of the protestants; they peti- 
tioned and remonstrated ; they applied to the courts of Russia, 
Prussia, Great Britain, and Denmark, all of which remonstrated to 
the government of Poland, but without any essential effect. Some 
unimportant concessions were made, which did not satisfy the dissi- 
dents, who were determined to maintain their rights with their blood, 
being encouraged to this determination by assurance of support from 
Russia, Austria, and Prussia. The Catholics we^re not behind their 
opponents in preparations for war, the " Confederation of the Barr" 
formed the bulwark of their strength and hopes. With both parties, 
religion and liberty became the watchword and a signal for war. 
The confederates, as the Catholics were denominated, not only wished 
to overcome their opponents, but to dethrone Stanislaus, and rescue 
the country from the influence of Russia. This desperate civil war 
was very gratifying to the ambitious neighbors of Poland, who, a 
considerable time before, had entered into a secret treaty for the 
conquest and partition of Poland. The armies of Russia, Prussia, 
and Austria invaded the country in various directions, and seized on 
different provinces. 

The confederates, or the anti-Russian party, comprising most of 
the distinguished Polish patriots, made a resolute and determined 
struggle ; but, being feebly supported by Saxony and France, and 
having to contend with numerous forces of the coalition which invaded 
the country, as well as those of their opponents at home, they were 



defeated in every quarter, and the country left a prey to the three 
royal plunderers. They issued a manifesto, declaring' that the dis- 
sensions and disorders of Poland had rendered their interference 
necessary, and that they had adopted combined m.easures for the re- 
establishment of good order in Poland, and the settlement of its ancient 
constitution, and to secure the national and popular liberties of the 
people on a solid basis. But the security and protection which they 
afforded to unhappy Poland, was like that which the wolf affords to 
the lamb, and the tears they shed over her misfortunes, were like 
those of the crocodile when preying on its victim. Instead of secur- 
ing the right of the dissidents, which was the professed object of 
the war, the combined sovereigns thought only of aggrandizing them- 
selves ; and, after great difficulty, they finally succeeded in dividing 
the spoil, a treaty for the partition of Poland being concluded at 
Petersburg, in February, 1772. Russia took a large proportion of 
the eastern provinces ; Austria appropriated to herself a fertile tract 
on the southwest, and Prussia the commercial district in the north- 
west, including the lower part of Vistula ; lea.ving only the central 
provinces, comprising Warsaw and Cracow, the modern and ancient 
capital. Thus w^as Poland despoiled by three royal robbers, which 
Europe witnessed, not without astonishment, but without any effectual 
mterference. The courts of London, Paris, Stockholm, and Copen- 
hagen, remonstrated against this violent usurpation, which probably 
had as much effect as was expected — none at all. 

|N this unjust and cruel war, Kosciusko had taken 
an active and zealous part in defence of the in- 
dependence of his country : but his patriotism and 
exertions were unavailing; the patriotic Poles could 
not resist the power of faction and the invading 
armies of three formidable neighbors. To strengthen 
their acquisitions, the allied powers insisted on Sta- 
nislaus convoking a diet to sanction the partition ; 
and, notwithstanding the influence of three power- 
ful armies, the diet refused to ratify this injustice 
for a considerable time ; but, by promises of favors, and by profuse 
use of money among the members, together with the influence of 
military force, a majority of six in the senate, and of one in the 
assembly, was at length obtained in favor of the iniquitous measure, 
and commissioners were appointed to adjust the terms of the parti- 
tion. This completed the humiliation and degradation of Poland, 
and occasioned many of her most distinguished patriots to leave 
their dismembered and unhappy country. This took place in May, 
1773. Kosciusko was among those who retired from the country. 



The war that broke out between the American colonies and Great 
Britain, opened a field for military adventurers from Europe, it being 
supposed that America was destitute of men of military science and 
experience, and being justly regarded as a contest for liberty, between 
an infant people, few in number, and with feeble means, and the 
most powerful nation on earth, many patriots of the old world 
repaired to America as volunteers in the cause of freedom. The 
first events and successes of the contest, and the dignified attitude 
assumed by the solemn declaration of independence, produced- the 
most favorable impression abroad, which brought many distinguished 
foreigners to our shores in the early part of the year 1777. The 
distinguished Polish patriot, who is the subject of this brief notice, 
and his countryman, Count Pulaski, were among the number. It is 
not known at what time either of them arrived, but it is believed it 
was early in the year 1777, as the latter was present and distin- 
guished himself in the battle of Brandy wine. So many foreigners 
of distinction arrived, that Congress was embarrassed in giving them 
employment, corresponding with their expectations and rank ; and, 
from the commissions which were given to foreigners, disagreeable 
jealousies were produced among the native officers of the continental 
army. Kosciusko, like the Marquis de La Fayette and others, had been 
influenced wholly by patriotic motives and an ardent attachment to 
liberty ; he had no occasion to acquire military fame, and he pos- 
sessed a soul which raised him infinitely above becoming a mer- 
cenary soldier. He wanted neither rank nor emolument ; his object 
was to serve the cause, not to serve himself. He however received 
a colonel's commission, and was employed under General Greene, in 
the southern campaign of 178 1. In the attack on Ninety-Six, a very 
strong post of the enemy in South Carolina, Kosciusko being a skil- 
ful engineer, Greene intrusted to him the important duty of preparing 
and constructing the works for the siege. He continued in the ser- 
vice until after the capture of Cornwalhs at Yorktown, which termi- 
nated all the important operations of the war. 

On leaving America, Kosciusko returned to his native country, 
where he exerted himself for the improvement of the political con- 
dition of his countrymen, and promoting the general prosperity. In 
1789, he was made major-general in the Polish army. He served 
with distinction in the campaign of 1792 against the Russians, but 
king Stanislaus having soon after submitted to the will of the Empress 
Catharine, and Poland being occupied by Russian troops, Kosciusko 
with several other officers left the service, and withdrew to Germany. 
When the revolution broke out in Poland, at the beginning of 1794, 
Kosciusko was put at the head of the national forces, which were 

Kosciusko's defence of Poland. 


E!osciusi:o ■wounded 

hastily assembled, and in a great measure were destitute of arms and 
artillery. In April, 1794, he defeated a numerically superior Rus- 
sian force at Raclawice. Again in the month of June, he attacked 
the united Russians and Prussians near Warsaw, but was defeated, 
and obliged to retire into his intrenched camp before the capital. He 
then defended that city for two months against the combined forces 
of Russia and Prussia, and obliged them to raise the siege. Fresh 
Russian armies, however, having advanced from the interior under 
Suwarrow and Fersen, Kosciusko marched against them with twenty- 
one thousand men. The Russians were nearly three times the num- 
ber, and on the 10th of October the battle of Macziewice took place, 
about fifty miles from Warsaw, After a desperate struggle the Poles 
were routed, and Kosciusko being wounded, was taken prisoner, ex- 
claiming that there was an end of Poland. The storming of Praga 
by Suwarrow, and the capitulation of Warsaw soon followed. 
Kosciusko was taken to St. Petersburg as a state prisoner, but being 
afterwards released by the emperor Paul, he proceeded to Lon- 
don. He was here treated with great consideration, on account of 
his eminent services and sufferings in the cause of his country 
While residing in London, he was still suffering with wounds which 
he had received in his last battle with the Russians. His portrait 
was painted several times, reclining upon a sofa, as in the accom- 
panying engraving ; once we beheve by Mr. West, After residing 
some time in London, he returned to America, where he was received 
as the illustrious defenders of our country are always received, with 
every mark of distinction. 



He went to France in 1798. Napoleon repeatedly endeavored to 
engage Kosciusko to enter his service as Dombrovi^ski and other 
Polish officers had done, and to use the influence of his name among 
his countrymen to excite them against Russia ; but Kosciusko saw 
through the selfish ambition of the conqueror, and declined appear- 
ing again on the political stage. A proclamation to his country, 
which the French Moniteur ascribed to him in 1806, was a fabrica- 

He continued to live in retirement in France mitil 1814, when he 
wrote to the emperor Alexander, recommending to him the fate of 
his country. In 1815, after the establishment of the new kingdom 
of Poland, Kosciusko wrote again to the emperor, thanking him 
for what he had done for the Poles, but entreating him to extend 
the benefit of nationality to the Lithuanians also, and offering for 
his boon to devote the remainder of his life to his service. Soon 
after he wrote to Prince Czartorinski, testifying likewise his grati- 
tude for the revival of the Polish name, and his disappointment at 
the crippled extent of the new kingdom, which, however, he attri- 
buted not to the intention of the emperor, but to the policy of his 
cabinet, and concluded by saying that, as he could be of no further 
use to his country, he was going to end his days in Switzerland. 

In 1816, Kosciusko settled at Soleure in Switzerland, where he 
applied]f to agricultural pursuits. He died in October, 1817, 
in consequence of a fall from his horse. His remains were removed 
to Cracow, by order of Alexander of Russia, and placed in the vaults 
of the kings of Poland. His countrymen subsequently raised a 
colossal monument to his memory on a plain near Cracow. 

A beautiful monument to his memory, has been erected at West 
Point, by the cadets of the Military Academy, at an expense of 
about five thousand dollars. 

Eosciusko s Monument at West Point. 


)ONG life and distinguished honors crowned the services 
of this noble patriot of the Revolution. He was the 
son of Mr. Francis Lewis, one of the signers of the 
declaration of independence, and was born in the city 
of New York, on the 16th of October, 1754. He graduated at 




The house in -wliioli General Frazer died, Stillwater. 

Princeton College, 1773, when he entered upon the study of the 
law, in the office of Mr. John Jay, afterwards chief justice of the 
supreme court of the United States. 

On the breaking out of the Revolutionary war, 1775, Mr. Lewis 
joined the American army under General Washington, in the neigh- 
borhood of Boston, and continued in active service till the peace. 
During the contest he distinguished himself on various occasions. 
He is mentioned in General Stephen's despatches as having behaved 
gallantly at the battle of Germantown. His services were particu- 
larly conspicuous at Saratoga, where he held the office of quarter- 
master general, with the rank of colonel, under General Gates, and 
were extremely valuable. In the action at Bemis's Heights, he shared 
with Arnold, Morgan and other active officers the perils and honors 
of the day. Morgan on this occasion is said to have performed an 
act to w^hich he referred w^ith compunction on his death-bed. When 
General Frazer was apparently turning the tide of war in favor of 
the British, he took a few of his choice riflemen aside and said, 
"that gallant officer is General Frazer; I admire and respect him, 
but it is necessary that he should die ; take your stations in that 
wood and do your duty." Within a few" moments General Frazer 
fell mortally wounded. He was supported by two officers till he 
reached his tent ; he said he saw the man who shot him, and that he 
was a rifleman posted in a tree. He was subsequently taken to the 
house at Stillwater on the banks of the Hudson, and there breathed 
his last. 

After the surrender of Burgoyne, Colonel Lewis was engaged in 
the operations undertaken by General Clinton, in the northern part 
of New York, against Sir John Johnson's mixed force of British 
regulars and savages. 

At the end of the war, he resumed his profession of the law, and 
was shortly after elected a member of the state legislature from the 


city of New York. He next represented in the same body the 
county of Dutchess, whither he had removed ; and was then appointed 
successively a judge of the court of common pleas, attorney-general 
of the state, a judge of the supreme court, and (1801) chief justice 
of the same court. In 1804, he was elected governor of New York ; 
in 18 10, he served as a member of the senate of that state ; and in 
1812, he was appointed quartermaster general of the United States 
army, with the rank of a brigadier-general. — The last mentioned office 
he held, however, only for about ten months, being promoted in 
March, 1813, to the rank of a major-general. In the earlier part of 
the campaign of that year, he acted under the orders of General 
Dearborn on the Niagara frontier ; and, in the latter part of it, he 
accompanied General Wilkinson in his expedition, down the river 
St. Lawrence, against Montreal. In 1814, he was intrusted with 
the command of the forces destined for the defence of the city and 
harbor of New York from an apprehended attack of the enemy. — 
From the close of the w^ar in 1815, down to the period of his death, 
General Lewis lived in retirement from all public duties, with the 
single exception of an oration which he delivered (he being then in 
his seventy-eighth year,) by the request of the corporation of the city 
of New York, on the 22d of February, 1832; that day being the 
centennial anniversary of the birth of the " Father of his country." 


HE family papers of General 
Wooster were destroyed by the 
British, at the sacking of the 
town of New Haven, in 1779, 
and the biographers of this able 
officer can learn nothing of his 
ancestry and his early years, 
except that he was born in 
Stratford, Connecticut, on the 
2d of March, 1710, and that 
he graduated at Yale College 
in 1738. In 1739 we find him employed as captain of a vessel, 
armed by the colony, to guard and protect the coast during the 
Spanish war. Soon after, he married the daughter of President 
Clap, of Yale College. He was employed as a captain in Colonel 
Burr's regiment, sent, as part of the Connecticut troops, against 
Louisburg. He greatly distinguished himself at the siege and cap- 
ture of that place. He was retained among those who garrisoned 
the fortress, and afterwards selected to take charge of a cartel-ship 
for France and England. In England he was received with marked 
honor, presented to the king, and the young American officer became 
the favorite of the court. The king admitted him into the regular 



service, and he was made a captain in Sir William Pepperell's regi- 
ment, v^ith half pay for life. After the peace of Aix-la-Chapelle 
he returned to his family, but the commencement of the French war 
in 1756 again called him to the field, and during its continuance he 
rose to the rank of brigadier-general. When he was restored to 
his home by the peace of 1763, he carried with him many marks 
of the valor which had won him promotion. He next engaged in 
mercantile business in New Haven, where he was appointed collector 
of the customs. The favors shown him by royalty, however, had not 
weaned him from the love of his country, and though an officer in 
the British regular service, entitled to half pay for his life, and a 
revenue officer, he gave up all in her behalf. His pen and sword 
were among the first employed in the contest for liberty, and his life 
was early given to seal his fidelity to the cause. When the battle 
of Lexington, April 19tli, 1775, had fairly begun the contest, he 
immediately employed his energies and talents in devising a plan 
for getting possession of some of the fortresses held by the British 
arms in the colonies, and with a few others, on their own risk and 
responsibility, sent Ethan Allen and Benedict Arnold to Ticonderoga, 
which was surprised and taken on the 10th of May. This bold step 
seems to have taken the Congress no less than the garrison wholly by 
surprise. When informed of it, they recommended that an inventory 
of the cannon and military stores found in the fort should be taken, 
' in order that they may be safely returned when the restoration of 
the former harmony between Great Britain and these colonies, so 
ardently wished for by the latter, shall render it prudent and con- 
sistent with the overruling care of self-preservation." 

General Wooster was the third on the list of eight brigadier-gene- 
rals appointed by Congress on the 22d of June, 1775. He had 
command in Canada during the unfortunate campaign of 177 6, 
where suffering and want, with the small-pox, proved the worst 
enemies of the army. On his return from this trying situation, 
he requested Congress to order a court of inquiry, by which he was 
acquitted of all blame. 

E was next appointed major-general of the militia 
of Connecticut, and during the winter of 1776, 
and 1777, he was employed in protecting his 
1^ state against the enemy. While engaged in this 
duty, the British with two thousand men from 
New York landed between Norwalk and Fair- 
field, and destroyed the magazines at Danbury. 
The rain prevented the troops ordered from New Haven from arriving 
in time to prevent this damage, but Generals Wooster and Arnold 



with six hundred men, collected by General Silliman, attacked the 
enemy in his retreat. The inequality of numbers was so great, 
however, that the militia gave way, and General Wooster, while 
endeavoring to rally them, received a mortal wound. His wife and 
son came to attend him at Danbury. He told them he was dying, 
but with the strong hope and persuasion that his country would gain 
her independence. His death took place on the second of May, 
1777, at the age of sixty-seven. 

Congress in appreciation of his naerits and services passed resolu- 
tions for erecting a monument to his memory, made an appropriation 
for the purpose, and requested the governor of Connecticut to carry 
it into execution ; but the remains of this gallant officer and- patriot 
still lie in an unmarked grave, in the village he died defending. 


OHN BROOKS was born in the village of 
Medford, near Boston, in the year 1752. His 
ancestors were among the earliest settlers of 
li the country, and they had followed in suc- 
cession the occupation of farming, in which 
Governor Brooks himself, passed the earliest 
years of his life. He surmounted the diffi- 
culties that lay in the way of his receiving a 
good education, and acquired a sufficient 
knowledge of the ancient languages, to commence his favorite study, 
that of medicine. Having obtained his degree, he commenced the 
practice of his profession in the town of Reading, where he was 
found at the commencement of the revolution, prepared to take arms 
in defence of his country. He became commander of a company of 
minute men, whom he learned to train, by observing the drilling of 
the British soldiery in Boston. Aroused by the news of the advance 
of the British upon Lexington, he led his company against them, 
posted them behind a stone wall commanding the road from Concord 
to Boston, at a place where it passed over a marsh by a bridge and 
causeway. From this point he annoyed them severely as they were 
retreating to Boston, and after they had passed, joined the American 






Brooks's Provincials annoying tlie Britisli on their retreat from Concord. 

forces in pursuit. He became a major in Colonel Bridge's regiment, 
when the army was organized. Serving apart from his regiment, he 
took part in the battle of Bunker's Hill, going the rounds with 
Colonel Prescott, and working in the intrenchments during the night. 
At daylight in the morning, it became apparent that the enemy were 
about to make an attack, and Colonel Prescott desired that this 
should be made known to the general-in-chief, with a request for 
reinforcements. Major Brooks performed this duty, and, for want 
of a horse, he accomplished his mission on foot, but with promptitude 
and success. He was afterwards attached to Colonel Webb's regi- 
ment, in which he assisted in throwing up the intrenchments on 
Dorchester Heights, which compelled the evacuation of Boston. 
Major Brooks served under Washington on Long Island, and at the 
battle of the White Plains, his gallantry and the discipline of his 
soldiers gained him much credit. He was engaged in active service 
during the campaign in the Jerseys, and as a lieutenant-colonel, 
commanding a regiment, in the campaign against Burgoyne. In 
the battles preceding the surrender of that officer. Colonel Brooks 
bore a conspicuous part. He turned with his regiment the line of 
the enemy, and storming successfully the redoubt occupied by the 
Germans, in the decisive action of the 7th of October. Colonel 
Trumbull has given him a place among the principal actors in his 
celebrated painting of the surrender of Burgoyne. 

Colonel Brooks was with his regiment at Valley Forge, where he 
assisted materially in bringing the new military system of Baron 


Steuben into use. As adjutant-general to General Lee, he took an 
active part in the battle of Monmouth. On the banks of the Hudson 
he was again employed in perfecting the discipline of the army. 
When the famous Newburg letters were published, and the com- 
mander-in-chief was involved in doubt and uncertainty as to the 
course that the officers would pursue, he rode, according to an anec- 
dote related by the late Chief Justice Parker, of Massachusetts, up 
to Colonel Brooks, to learn how he and his officers were affected. 
Finding him, as he expected, to be sound, he requested, him to keep 
his officers in their quarters, to prevent them from attending the 
insurgent meeting. Brooks replied, " Sir, I have anticipated your 
wishes, and my orders are given." Washington, with tears in his 
eyes, took him by the hand, and said, " Colonel Brooks, this is just 
what I should have expected from you." 

Retiring in poverty, from the service of his country. Colonel 
Brooks resumed the practice of his profession in Medford, with great 
success. He was made major-general of the third division of the 
Massachusetts militia, and frequently elected a member of the legis- 
lature of that state. He was a member of the convention which 
framed the constitution of the United States, and labored to secure 
the adoption by his own state, of the new frame of government. In 
the organization of the army of the United States, in 1798, General 
Brooks received the tender from Washington, of the command of a 
brigade, which, however, he declined. In 1816, General Brooks 
became governor of Massachusetts, and filled that office for six suc- 
cessive terms. 

After his retirement from the gubernatorial chair, he continued his 
public services in various capacities. He continued till his death 
president of the Massachusetts Medical Society, of the Society of the 
Cincinnati, and other useful public bodies. During his life, he was 
honored by Harvard University with the degrees of master of arts 
and doctor of laws. On the 11th of February, 1825, he went from 
his home to attend the funeral of General Eustis, his revolutionary 
associate, and successor in the governorship of Massachusetts. On 
the 2d of March, of the same year, he died himself, aged seventy- 
three. We cannot better close this sketch, than by quoting from 
Chief Justice Parker's memoir, the following extract. " Though 
the style of his living was conformable to his limited means, yet the 
order and regularity of his household, the real comfort of his enter- 
tainments, the polite deportment of the host, struck strangers, even 
those accustomed to magnificence, as a happy specimen of republi- 
cansimplicity, and of generous, but economical hospitality. Bred in 
the best school of manners — a military association of high-minded, 



accomplished officers — his deportment, though grave and dignified 
like Washington's, was nevertheless vi^arm and affectionate. On all 
ceremonious occasions, ceremony seemed to become him better than 
any one else. In the chair of state, when receiving the gratulations 
of a happy people on the birthday of their independence ; — on the 
spacious common, paying honors to the President of the United 
States; — on the military field, reviewing our national guard, the 
militia; — at his own humhle, but honored mansion, taking to his 
breast his early friend, the nation's guest ; what young man of taste 
and feeling could be unmoved at his soldierly air, his graceful 
demeanor, covering, but not impairing the generous feelings of a 
warm and affectionate heart ! If the writer does not mistake, he was 
one of the last and best samples of that old school of manners, which, 
though it has given way to the ease and convenience of modern 
times, will be regretted by some, as having carried away with it many 
of the finest and most delicate traits of social intercourse." 

We place, as a suitable appendage to this notice of Governor 
Brooks, the old monument formerly standing on Beacon Hill, in Bos- 
ton, the capital of the state ov-er whose destinies Governor Brooks 
presided. It was sixty feet in height, and bore inscriptions com- 
memorating the most important events of the revolution. 

Old Monument on Beacon Hill, EoBton. 


towards the mother country. 

HIS excellent officer was born in 
Germany, about the year 1717. 
When young, he entered the ser- 
vice of France, in which he con- 
tinued for forty-two years, and ob- 
tained the rank of brigadier-general. 
In 1757, during the war between 
England and France, he was sent, 
by the French government, to the 
American colonies, in order to learn 
the points in which they were most 
vulnerable, and how far the seeds of 
discontent might be sown in them 

He was seized, while in the perform- 




ance of this commission, as a suspected person, but escaped detec 
tion. He then went to Canada, where he remained until its conquest 
by the British, after which he returned to France. In 1777, during 
the war of the Revolution, he came a second time to the United 
States, and offered his services to Congress. They were accepted, 
and he was soon after made a major-general. At first, he was placed 
in the northern army, but when the danger which threatened Charles- 
ton from the formidable expedition under Sir Henry Clinton, in 1778, 
rendered it necessary to reinforce the American troops in the south, 
a detachment was sent to them consisting of the Maryland and Dela- 
ware lines, which were put under his command. Before he could 
arrive, however, at the scene of action, General Lincoln had been 
made prisoner, and the direction of the whole southern army in con- 
sequence devolved upon the Baron until the arrival of General Gates, 
August 15th, 1780, who had been appointed to the command. 

Four days after this, General Gates found himself at Camden, 
with three thousand seven hundred men, of whom only one thousand 
were regular troops, in the presence of two thousand British vete- 
rans, led by Lord Cornwallis. 

HE enemy were drawn up in 
one line, extending across the 
whole ground, and flanked by 
the swamps on both sides. Col- 
onel Webster was stationed on 
the right, and Lord Rawdon on 
the left ; in front of the line, the 
artillery, with four field-pieces, 
were posted; the reserve were 
posted at two stations in the rear, near the centre of each wing, 
at each of which was one six-pounder ; and the cavalry occupied the 
road in the rear, which, with the reserve, formed the second line. 
General Gates changed the first disposition of his troops : the second 
Maryland brigade and the Delaware regiment were posted on the 
right, under General Gist: the centre was occupied by General 
Caswell, with the North Carolina .militia ; and the Virginia militia, 
commanded by General Stevens, were placed ori the left, being 
opposed to the best troops of the enemy. The artillery was 
divided among the several brigades ; and the first Maryland bri- 
gade, under General Smallwood, formed the reserve. The line of 
battle was intrusted to the Baron de Kalb, who was posted on 
the right, great reliance being placed on his experience and known 
intrepidity ; he was to watch the movements of the whole line, and 
direct his exertions where circumstances miffht indicate. General 



Gates was stationed in the road, between the reserve and the front 

The action was commenced by a vigorous attack on the American 
left, by the enemy's right, which were their best troops ; this was 
immediately followed by the discharge of artillery from our centre, 
and the action was soon commenced along the whole line. The 
Virginia militia on our left, unable to stand the vigorous assault 
of the British veterans, after one fire threw down their arms and 
fled ; and their pernicious example was immediately followed by 
the North Carolina brigade in our centre ; and all the exertions of 
their officers, and of General Gates in person, to rally them was 
ineffectual : filled with consternation, they continued their cowardly 
flight until they reached a place of safety. The centre of the 
American line being thus broken, the right, consisting of the Mary- 
land brigade and Delaware regiment, led by the gallant De Kalb, 
had to sustain the whole force of the action. De Kalb and Gist 
were pushing on with decided advantage, at the time the militia 
gave way, which stopped their advance, and brought the whole fire 
of the enemy upon them; animated by their brave leader, they 
resolutely sustained this unequal contest for a considerable time, and 
until all the other troops had retreated : several times were the 
enemy's van driven in with loss. General Smallwood, with the 
first Maryland brigade, which had formed the reserve, advanced and 
took the place of the fugitives on the left, which exposed him to the 
whole corps of Webster's veterans, on the enemy's right. The shock 
was too heavy for militia ; three times was General Smallwood 
compelled to give way, and with determined valor three times did he 
return to the charge, and would probably have maintained his 
ground had not the remaining regiment of North Carolina militia, 
which for some time seemed resolved to retrieve the disgrace of their 
countrymen, finally gave way, which compelled Smallwood's regi- 
ment to retire in some disorder from so unequal and destructive a 
contest. This left the right the second time exposed to the whole 
force of the enemy. Few, but undismayed, the brave continentals, 
animated by the heroic conduct of their chief, made a determined 
effort to sustain the honor of the field alone. From the vast superi- 
ority of the enemy, their fire was heavy and destructive, and could 
not be returned with the same effect ; De Kalb, therefore, placed his 
last hopes on the bayonet, and, making a desperate charge, drove 
the enemy before him with considerable advantage. But at this time, 
Cornwallis, perceiving that the American cavalry had left the field, 
ordered Colonel Tarlton to charge with his cavalry ; and, having 
concentrated his whole force the charge was made with the usual 




Battle of Camden and deatli of De Kalb. 

impetuosity of that daring officer. This was decisive of the des- 
perate conflict, and fatal to the gallant officer who is the subject of 
this brief notice. Fatigued from their long and arduous efforts, the 
heroic continentals, who had sustained almost the whole burden of 
the day, were unable to withstand the charge ; and their gallant 
leader, who was himself a host, having fallen, they were compelled 
to leave a field which they had so honorably defended, and seek 
safety by flight. The victory, and the dispersion of the Americans 
was complete ; and the fugitives were pursued for more than twenty 
miles. The troops under De Kalb, on the right, sufl^ered as might 
be supposed, most severely ; the Delaware regiment was nearly 
destroyed, two companies only being left, and more than one-third 
of the continentals were killed and wounded. 

Perhaps no officer ever exerted himself more, in a single action, 
than did the Bafon de Kalb on this occasion ; he did all that man 
could do to retrieve the fortune of the day, exposing himself to con- 
stant and imminent danger. He received eleven wounds in the 
course of the action ; but kept his post and continued his exertions 
until the last, which proved mortal. As he fell, his aid, Lieutenant- 
Colonel de Buysson, caught him in his arms, to save him from the 
uplifted bayonets of the enemy, which he warded off by receiving 
them in his own body. In his last moments the baron dictated a 



letter to General Smallwood, who succeeded to his command, ex- 
pressing a warm affection for the Americans and the cause in which 
they were engaged, and his admiration of the conduct of th« troops 
under his immediate command, whose bravery and firmness, in so 
unequal a contest, he said, had called forth the commendation even 
of the enemy ; and concluded by expressing the satisfaction he felt 
in having fallen in the defence of the independence and liberties of 
America, a cause so dear to the lovers of liberty and the friends of 
humanity, in Europe as well as America. He survived only a few 
days : an ornamental tree was planted at the head of his grave, near 
Camden, and Congress, duly sensible of his merits, passed a resolu- 
tion directing a monument to be erected to his memory, with very 
honorable inscriptions, at Annapolis, in Maryland ; but the resolu- 
tion, it is believed, has never been carried into effect, and the grati- 
tude and plighted faith of the nation both remain unredeemed. He 
was in the forty-eighth year of his age ; most of his life had been 
spent in military employments, and the last three years in America, 
with distinguished reputation. 


PHfT^HIS gentleman, who was a colo- 
1/ JIl u nel in the service of Virginia, 
against the Indians, in the revo- 
lutionary war, was among the 
best soldiers, and better acquainted with 
the Indian warfare than any officer in 
the army. While his countrymen on the 
sea-board were contending with the Bri- 
tish regulars, he was the efficient pro- 
tector of the people of the frontiers of Virginia and. Pennsylvania 
from the inroads of the savages. The history of his exploits would 
fill a volume ; and for hair-breadth escapes and hardy enterprise, 
would hardly have a 'parallel. We are only enabled to give an 
extract : 

The legislature of Virginia claiming the country conquered by 
Colonel Clarke, comprehended it within the new country, which 
they erected by the name of Illinois. A regiment of infantry, and 
one troop of cavalry were voted for its protection ; the command of 
which was given to Colonel Clarke, whose former regiment was dis- 
solved, by the expiration of its term of service, and who well merited 
this new expression of public confidence, by the entire success of his 



late enterprises, by his known courage, by his uncommon hardihood, 
by his mihtary talents, and by his singular capacity for Indian 

The famihes who came to the falls of Ohio with Colonel Clarke, 
in 1778, were the first settlers at that place. Considering their 
exposed situation on the extremity of Kentucky, detached seventy 
miles from the other settlements, and in the vicinity of several hostile 
tribes of Indians, and British posts, it was deemed expedient to erect 
their first cabins on the principal island in the falls, and there they 
made corn in that year. 

Greatly were these adventurers interested in the success of Colo- 
nel Clarke's expedition. Nor was it long before they heard of the 
fall of Kaskakias. Pleasing as was this intelligence, it did not 
afford to them the wanted security. 

There was yet post St. Vincents, more immediately in their neigh- 
borhood, and replenished with Indians. The capture of this place 
was to them the mandate of liberation from their insular situation, 
and an invitation to remove to the Kentucky shore. Hence the origin 
of the settlement at the site of Louisville. 

4. stand being once made at the Falls, and the garrison freed from 
the contracted and inconvenient limits of the island, soon accumu- 
lated strength from accession of numbers, and importance from its 
becoming the residence of Colonel Clarke with his regiment. 

The year 1779 early felt, in various ways, the eflfect of Colonel 
Clarke's expedition and success ; a general confidence prevailed in 
the country, which extended itself abroad ; and while it brought 
more emigrants into Kentucky, it encouraged an extension of the 
settlements. About the first of April, a block-house was built where 
Lexington now stands, and a new settlement began there under the 
auspices of Robert Patterson, who may be considered an early and 
meritorious adventurer, much engaged in the defence of the country ; 
and who was afterwards promoted to the rank of colonel. Several 
persons raised corn at the place that year, and in the autumn, John 
Morrison, afterwards a major, removed his family from Harrodsburg, 
and Mrs. Morrison was the first white woman at Lexington ; so 
named to commemorate the battle at Lexington, the first which took 
place in the war of the revolution. 

In this year, Colonel Clarke descended the Ohio, with a part of 
his regiment, and after entering the Mississippi, at the first high land 
on the eastern bank, landed the troops, and built Fort Jetferson. 

In a military view, this position was well chosen ; and had it been 
well fortified, and furnished with cannon, would have commanded 
the river. Without a doubt, at some future day, it will be a place 



of great importance in tne western country. It is within the limits 
of Kentucky, and never should be alienated. A suitable garrison at 
that place, should it ever be necessary, would hold in check both the 
upper and lower Mississippi. 

"N 1781, Colonel Clarke received a 
general's commission, and had the chief, 
command in Kentucky. A row-galley 
was constructed- under his direction, 
which was to ply up and down the 
Ohio, as a moving battery for the north- 
western frontier, and which is supposed 
to have had a very good effect in fright- 
ening the Indians, for none dared to 
attack it ; nor were they so free as 
theretofore in crossing the river ; indeed there is a tradition, that its 
passage up the Ohio once as far as the mouth of Licking, had the 
effect to stop an expedition, which a formidable party of Indians had 
commenced against Kentucky. 

The character of this veteran is well developed in the following 
extract, recently published, from the " Notes of an Old Officer :" 

" The Indians came into the treaty at Fort Washington in the 
most friendly manner, except the Shawahanees, the most conceited 
and most warlike of the aborigines, the first in at a battle, the last 
at a treaty. Three hundred of their finest warriors, set off in all 
their paint and feathers, filed into the council house. Their number 
and demeanor, so unusual at an occasion of this sort, was altogether 
unexpected and suspicious. The United States stockade mustered 
seventy men. 

In the centre of the hall, at a little table, sat the commissary, 
General Clarke, the indefatigable scourge of these very marauders ; 
General Richard Butler, and Mr. Parsons ; there were present also, 
a Captain Denny, who, I believe, is still alive, and can attest this 
story. On the part of the Indians an old council sachem and a war 
chief, took the lead ; the latter, a tall, raw-boned fellow, with an 
impudent and villanous look, made a boisterous and threatening 
speech, which operated effectually on the passions of the Indians, 
who set up a prodigious whoop at every pause. He concluded by 
presenting a black and white wampum, to signify they were prepared 
for either event, peace or war. Clarke exhibited the same unaltered 
3nd careless countenance he had shown during the whole scene, his 
head leaning on his left hand, and his elbow resting on the table ; he 
raised his little cane and pushed the sacred wampum off the table 
with very little ceremony ; every Indian at the same moment started 


from his seat with one of those strange> simultaneous, and pecuharly 
savage sounds, which startle and disconcert the stoutest hearts, and 
can neither be described nor forgotten. 

Parsons, more civil than military in his habits, was poorly fitted 
for an emergency that probably embarrassed even the hero of Sara- 
toga, the brother and father of soldiers. At this juncture Clarke 
rose ; the scrutinizing eye cowered at his glance ; he stamped his 
foot on the prostrate and insulted symbol, and ordered them to leave 
the hall. They did so, apparently involuntarily. 

They were heard all that night debating in the bushes near the 
fort. The raw-boned chief was for war, the old sachem for peace ; 
the latter prevailed ; and the next morning they came back and sued 
for peace." 

General Clarke died at his seat, at Locust Grove, near Louisville, 
Kentucky, on the 13th of February, 1817, in the sixty-sixth year 
of his age. He had justly acquired the appellation of the father of 
the western country. A newspaper, in his immediate neighborhood, 
thus feelingly noticed his death: 

" Could our feeble talents enable us to delineate the distinguished 
acts of patriotism, of valor, and philanthropy, that characterized the 
existence of this illustrious chief, what a spectacle would we present 
to the admiring world ! While basking in the sunshine of wealth 
and political glory, can we be unmindful that these are the proud 
trophies bequeathed us by the toils and valor of this illustrious man? 
Early in life he embarked in the cause of his country. This western 
country was the great theatre of his actions. Bold and enterprising, 
he was not to be dismaj-'ed by the dangers and difficulties that 
threatened him, by a force in number far his superior, and removed 
to a region never before trodden by a civilized American. He esti- 
mated the value of its favorable result ; he relied on his skill and 
courage ; he knew the fidelity of his little band of associates, and, 
for him, it was enough. With this little band of Spartans, he is seen 
piercing the gloom of the sequestered forests, illuminating them in 
quick succession with the splendor of his victories, and early inviting 
his countrymen to a residence his courage and skill had purchased 
for them." 


)HIS gallant officer bore a distin 
guished part in the revolutionary 
war. He was a native of the state 
of Maryland, and joined the cause 
of his country in August, 1776. 
He was at that time colonel of a 
battalion, with which he arrived in 
New York city, on the eighth of that 
month. In the stirring scenes at- 
tending the defeat of the Americans 
at Long Island and White Plains, 
he performed a distinguished part, and was rewarded (October 23d,) 
by his appointment as brigadier-general. In August of the follow- 
ing year, he led the Mai'yland militia in Sullivan's attempt on Staten 
Island. While Washington was using every exertion to defend 
Philadelphia against Sir William Howe, Smallwood mustered about 
twelve hundred militia from his native state, and hastened to join 
the main army. This he did September 28th, 1777, although S'ick- 
ness had reduced the number of his troops to one thousand. In the 
battle of Germantown he behaved with much bravery at the head of 



the Marylanders and Jersey men, and in the retreat displayed all the 
coolness and ability of a veteran commander. In December of the 
same year he was ordered by Washington to Wilmington, in order to 
preA^ent that town from falling into the hands of the British, who were 
at that time marching against it. Early in 1779, the enemy made a 
similar attempt upon Elizabethtown. To repel this, Smallwood, with 
the Maryland division of the army, and General St. Clair, with the 
Pennsylvania division, were put in motion by different routes to form 
a junction at the Scotch Plains, and proceed to reinforce General 
Maxwell, and act as circumstances might require. The troops were 
reccjled, however, before they had advanced far, in consequence of 
intelligence being received of the sudden retreat of the enemy. 

General Smallwood was with Gates in the disastrous campaign 
of that officer in the south. In the fall of 1780, he was named as 
the officer to receive the appointment of major-general from the state 
of Maryland, and was accordingly commissioned by Congress. On 
account of some misunderstanding with the Baron Steuben about 
rank, he left the southern army, and even hinted at a determination 
to resign. 

After the close of the war he continued in his native state until 
1785, when he was elected to Congress. He became governor of 
Maryland the same year, and fulfilled the duties of that office until 
1788. After this he retired to private life, until 1792, when his 
death occurred. 



HIS gentleman was a native of Brit- 
tany, who was ten years in the 
French service, in the early part of 
his life, and subsequently entered the 
monastery of La Trappe, in conse- 
quence of a disappointment in love. 
He left France in 1776, to enter the 
American service, bearing despatches 
from Dr. Franklin. Having narrowly 
escaped capture at the mouth of the 
Delaware, he arrived safely at Phila- 
delpiiia, and delivered his despatches. 
" At his own request," says Mr. 
Sparks, " he was commissioned to 
raise a partisan corps of Frenchmen, not exceeding two hundred 


men. It was thought that some advantage would result from such 
a corps, by bringing together into a body such soldiers as did not 
understand the English language." 

He served with La Fayette, and was in an affair with the enemy 
at Gloucester Point, near Philadelphia, in 1777, where he behaved 
with spirit. 

It appears by a letter of Washington, dated at Valley Forge, 25th 
March, 1778, that the colonel's corps being reduced below fifty men, 
Congress had determined to incorporate it into some regiinent, and 
he was desirous to raise a new one. 

In 1779, Washington mentions his corps as serving in Pennsyl- 
vania, and also in Sullivan's division, with whom he had served in 
the expedition to Rhode Island. 

In July, 1779, Armand's independent corps is mentioned as com- 
posing a part of General Robert Howe's division ordered to repair 
to Ridgefield. 

In December, 1779, General Washington writes to Colonel Ar- 
mand, (as he was always called,) " I have the most favorable opinion 
of your conduct and services, particularly in the course of the last 
campaign, in which circumstances enabled you to be more active 
and useful." 

We learn by another of Washington's letters to the colonel, in 
1780, that the board of war recommended the incorporation of his 
corps with the late Pulaski's, and that Washington recommended his 
being ordered with his men to Georgia. At the same time Wash- 
ington incloses him an ample certificate of merit. 

During his term of service, Colonel Armand had frequently applied 
for promotion without success ; and in 1781 he returned to France. 
But he soon returned, served in the southern states under General 
Greene, and on the 26th of March, 1783, obtained promotion to the 
rank of brigadier-general. 

He subsequently returned to France, married a lady of fortune, 
took an active part in the revolution, and died before it was closed. 


^^4W^^ - • 




HIS gallant soldier was a native of Poland, 
whose disastrous history is well known. Vainly 
struggling to restore the lost independence of 
his country, he was forced to seek personal 
safety by its abandonment. Pulaski, with a 
few men, in the year 1771, carried oif king 
Stanislaus from the middle of his capital, 
though surrounded by a numerous body of 
guards, and a Russian army. The king soon escaped, and declared 
Pulaski an outlaw. Hearing of the glorious struggle in which we 
were engaged, he hastened to the wilds of America, and associated 
himself with our perils and our fortunes. Congress honored him 
with the commission of brigadier-general, with a view, as was 
rumored, of placing him at the head of the American cavalry, the 
line of service in which he had been bred. But his ignorance of our 
language, and the distaste of our officers to foreign superiority, stifled 
this project. He was then authorized to raise a legionary corps, 
appointing his own officers. 

Indefatigable and persevering, the Count collected about two 
hundred infantry and two hundred horse, made up of all sorts, chiefly 
of German deserters. His officers were generally foreign, with some 



Americans. With this assemblage, the Count took the field ; and 
after serving some time in the northern army, he was sent to the 
south, and fell at the battle of Savannah. There slumbers the 
gallant Pole, the immortal Pulaski, who threw himself into the arms 
of America, and professed himself the champion of her rights ; and 
in the unfortunate affair of Savannah, sealed with his blood, the 
rising liberties of his adopted country. 

He was sober, diligent and intrepid, gentlemanly in his manners, 
and amiable in heart. He was very reserved, and when alone, 
betrayed strong evidence of deep melancholy. Those who knew 
him intimately, spoke highly of the sublimity of his virtue, and the 
constancy of his friendship. Commanding this heterogeneous corps, 
badly equipped and worse mounted, this brave Pole encountered 
difficulties and sought danger. Nor is there doubt, if he had been 
conversant in our language, and better acquainted with our customs 
and country, he would have become one of our most conspicuous 
and useful officers. 

General Lee, to whom we are indebted for this sketch, gives the 
following account in his memoirs, of the attack on Savannah, where 
it will be found the intrepid Pulaski made a gallant effort to retrieve 
the fortune of the day. 

" On the 9th of October, 1779, the allied troops under the Count 
d'Estaing and General Lincoln, moved to the assault. The serious 
stroke having been committed to two columns, one was led by 
d'Estaing and Lincoln united, the other by Count Dillon ; the third 
column moved upon the enemy's centre and left, first to attract 
attention, and lastly to press any advantage which might be derived 
from the assault by our left. 

The troops acted well their parts, and the issue hung for some 
time suspended. Dillon's column, mistaking its route in the dark- 
ness of the morning, failed in co-operation, and very much reduced 
the force of the attack ; while d'Estaing and Lincoln, concealed by 
the same darkness, drew with advantage near the enemy's lines 
undiscovered. Notwithstanding this loss of concert in assault by 
the two columns destined to carry the enemy, noble and determined 
was the advance. The front of the first was greatly thinned by the 
foe, sheltered in his strong and safe defences, and aided by batteries 
operating not only in front but in flank. 

Regardless of the fatal fire from their covered enemy, this unap- 
palled column, led by Lincoln and d'Estaing, forced the abattis and 
planted their standards on the parapet. All was gone, could this 
lodgment have been maintained. Maitland's comprehensive eye 
saw the menacing blow ; and his vigorous mind seized the means of 



warding it off. He drew from the disposable force, the grenadiers 
and marines, nearest to the point gained. This united corps under 
Lieutenant-Colonel Glazier assumed with joy the arduous task to 
recover the lost ground. With unimpaired strength it fell upon the 
worried head of the victorious column ; who, though- piercing the 
enemy in one point, had not spread along the parapet ; and the 
besieged bringing up superior force, victory was suppressed in its 
birth. The triumphant standards were torn down ; and the gallant 
soldiers, who had gone so far towards the goal of conquest, were 
tumbled into the ditch and driven through the abattis. About this 
time that Maitland was preparing this critical movement, count 
Pulaski, at the head of two hundred horse, threw himself upon the 
works to force his way into the enemy's rear. Receiving a mortal 
wound, this brave officer fell ; and his fate arrested the gallant effort 
which might have changed the issue of the day. Repulsed in every 
point of attack, the allied generals drew off their troops. The 
retreat was effected in good order ; no attempt to convert it into 
rout being made by the British general. Count d'Estaing, who, with 
General Lincoln, had courted danger to give effect to the assault, 
was wounded. Captain Tawes, of the provincial troops, signalized 
himself by his intrepidity in defending the redoubts committed to his 
charge, the leading points of our assault. He fell dead at the gate, 
with his sword plunged into the body of the third enemy, whom he 
had slain." 

Pulaski died two days after the action, and Congress resolved that 
a monument should be erected to his memory. 

Battle of Savannah, death of Pulaski. 


MONO the persons who have performed 
important services to the state of Ver- 
mont, Colonel Seth Warner deserves to 
be remembered with respect.. He was 
born at Woodbury, in the colony of Con- 
necticut, about the year 1744, of honest 
and respectable parents. Without any 
other advantages for an education than 
were to be found in the common schools 
of the town, he was early distinguished 
by the solidity and extent of his understanding. About the year 
1763, his parents purchased a tract of land in Bennington, and soon 
after removed to that town with their family. In the uncultivated 
state of the country, in the fish, with which the rivers and ponds 
were furnished, and in the game, with which the woods abounded, 
young Warner found a variety of objects suited to his favorite in- 
clinations and pursuits ; and he soon became distinguished as a for- 
tunate and indefatigable hunter. 

His father, Captain Benjamin Warner, had a strong inclination to 
medicinal inquiries and pursuits ; and agreeably to the state of things 
in new settlements, had to look for many of his medicines in the 
natural virtues of the plants and roots, that were indigenous to the 
country. His son Seth frequently attended him in these botanical 
excursions, contracted something of his father's taste for the busi- 
ness, and acquired more information of the nature and properties of 
the indigenous plants and vegetables, than any other man in the 

country. By this kind of knowledge he became useful to the fami- 




lies in the new settlements, and administered relief in many cases 
where no other medical assistance could at that time be procured. 
By such visits and practice he became known to most of the fami- 
lies on the west side of the Green Mountains ; and was generally 
esteemed by them a man highly useful both on account of his infor- 
mation and humanity. 

About the year 1763, a scene began to open which gave a new 
turn to his active and enterprising spirit. The lands on which the 
settlements were made, had been granted by the governors of New 
Hampshire, The government of New York claimed jurisdiction to 
the eastward as far as Connecticut river : denied the authority of 
the governor of New Hampshire to make any grants to the west of 
Connecticut river ; and announced to the inhabitants that they were 
within the territory of New York, and had no legal title to the lands 
on which they had settled. The controversy became very serious 
between the two governm-ents, and after some years spent in alterca- 
tion, New York procured a decision of George HI. in their favor. 
This order was dated July 20, 1764, and declared "the western 
banks of the river Connecticut, from where it enters the province of 
Massachusetts Bay, as far north as the forty-fifth degree of northern 
latitude, to be the boundary line between the said two provinces of 
New Hampshire and New York." No sooner was this decree pro- 
cured, than the governor of New York proceeded to make new 
grants of the lands, which the settlers had before fairly bought of 
the crown, and which had been chartered to them in the king's name 
and authority by the royal governor of New Hampshire. All be- 
came a scene of disorder and danger. The new patentees under 
New York brought actions of ejectment against the settlers. The 
decisions of the courts at Albany were always in favor of the New 
York patentees ; and nothing remained for the inhabitants but to buy 
their lands over again, or to give up the labors and earnings of their 
whole lives to the new claimants under titles from New York. 

During this scene of oppression and distress, the settlers discovered 
the firm and vigorous spirit of manhood. All that was left to them, 
was either to yield up their whole property to a set of unfeeling land- 
jobbers, or to defend themselves and property by force. They 
wisely and virtuously chose the latter ; and by a kind of common 
consent, Ethan Allen and Seth Warner became their leaders. No 
man's abilities and talents could have been better suited to the busi- 
ness than Warner's. When the authority of New York proceeded 
with an armed force to attempt to execute their laws, Warner met 
them with a body of Green Mountain boys, properly armed, full of 
resolution, and so formidable in numbers and courage, that the 



Earl of Percy. 

governor of New York was obliged to give up his method of pro- 
ceeding. When the sheriff came to extend his executions, and eject 
the settlers from their farms, Warner would not suffer him to proceed. 
Spies were employed to procure intelligence, and promote division 
among the people ; when any of them were taken, Warner caused 
them to be tried by some of the most discreet of the people ; and 
if declared guilty, to be tied to a tree and whipped. An officer came 
to take Warner by force ; he considered it as an affair of open hos- 
tility, engaged, wounded and disarmed the officer; but, with the 
honor and spirit of a soldier, spared the life of an enemy he had 
subdued. These services appeared in a very different light to the 
settlers, and to the government of New York ; the first considered 
him as an eminent patriot and hero ; to the other he appeared as the 
first of villains and rebels. To put an end to all further exertions, 
and to bring him to an exemplary punishment, the government of 
New York, on March 9th, 1774, passed an act of outlawry against 
him ; and a proclamation was issued by W. Tryon, governor of New 
York, offering a reward of fifty pounds to any person w^ho should 
apprehend him. These proceedings of New York were beheld by 
him with contempt ; and they had no other effect upon the settlers, 
than to unite them more firmly in their opposition to that govern- 
ment, and in their attachment to their own patriotic leader thus 
wantonly proscribed. 

In services of so dangerous and important a nature, Warner was 




engaged from the year 1765 to 1775. That year a scene of the 
highest magnitude and consequence opened upon the world. On the 
19th of April, the American war w^as begun by the British troops 
at Lexington, when the infantry of Major Pitcairn and the artillery 
of the Earl of Percy were compelled to retreat by the hardy yeo- 
manry of Massachusetts, Happily for the country, it was commenced 
with such circumstances of insolence and cruelty, as left no room 
for the people of America to doubt what was the course which they 
ought to pursue. The time was come, in which total subjection, or 
the horrors of war, must take place. All America preferred the 
latter ; and the people of the New Hampshire Grants immediately 
undertook to secure the British forts at Ticonderoga and Crown 
Point. Allen and Warner immediately engaged in the business. 
Allen took the command, and Warner raised a body of excellent 
troops in the vicinity of Bennington, and both marched against 
Ticonderoga. They surprised and took that fortress on the morning 
of the tenth of May ; and Warner was sent the same day with a 
detachment of the troops to secure Crown Point. He effected the 
business, and secured the garrison, with all the warlike stores, for 
the use of the continent. 

The same year Warner received a commission from Congress to 
raise a regiment, to assist in the reduction of Canada. He engaged 
in the business with his usual spirit of activity ; raised his regiment 
chiefly among his old acquaintance and friends, the Green Mountain 
Boys, and joined the army under the command of General Mont- 
gomery, The Honorable Samuel SaflTord of Bennington was his 
lieutenant-colonel. Their regiment conducted with great spirit, and 
acquired high applause, in the action at Longueil, in which the 
troops designed for the relief of St. Johns were totally defeated and 
dispersed, chiefly by the troops under the command of Colonel War- 
ner. The campaign ended about the 20th of November, in the course 
of which, Ticonderoga, Crown Point, Chamblee, St. Johns, Montreal, 
and a fleet of eleven sail of vessels had been captured by the Ameri- 
can arms. No man in this campaign had acted with more spirit and 
enterprise than Colonel Warner. The weather was now become 
severe, and Warner's men were too miserably clothed to bear a win- 
ter's campaign in the severe climate of Canada, They were accord- 
ingly now discharged by Montgomery with particular marks of his 
respect, and the most affectionate thanks for their meritorious ser- 

Warner returned with his men to the New Hampshire Grants, but 
his mind was more than ever engaged in the cause of his country. 
Montgomery with a part of his army, pressed on to Quebec, and on 


December 31st, was slain in an attempt to carry the city by storm. 
This event gave an alarm to all the northerrr part of the colonies ; 
and it became necessary to raise a reinforcement to march to Quebec 
in the midst of winter. The difficulty of the business suited the 
genius and ardor of Warner's mind. He was at Woodbury, in Con- 
necticut, when he heard the news of Montgomery's defeat and death ; 
he instantly repaired to Bennington, raised a body of men, and 
marched in the midst of winter to join the American troops at Que- 
bec. The campaign during the winter proved extremely distressing 
to the Americans ; in want of comfortable clothing, barracks, and 
provisions, most of them were taken by the small-pox, and several 
died. At the opening of the spring, in May, 1776, a large body of 
British troops arrived at Quebec to relieve the garrison. The Ameri- 
can troops were forced to abandon the blockade, with circumstances 
of great distress and confusion. Warner chose the most difficult 
part of the business, remaining always with the rear, picking up the 
lame and diseased, assisting and encouraging those who were the 
most unable to take care of themselves, and generally keeping but a 
few miles in advance of the British, who were rapidly pursuing the 
retreating Americans from post to post. By steadily pursuing this 
conduct, he brought off most of the invalids ; and with this corps of 
the infirm and diseased, he arrived at Ticonderoga, a few days after 
the body of the army had taken possession of that post. 

Highly approving his extraordinary exertions, the American Con- 
gress, on July 5th, 1776, the day after they had declared inde- 
pendence, resolved to raise a regiment out of the troops which had 
served with reputation in Canada. Warner was appointed colonel ; 
Safford lieutenant-colonel of this regiment ; and most of the other 
officers were persons who had been distinguished by their opposition 
to the claims and proceedings of New York. By this appointment 
he was again placed in a situation perfectly agreeable to his inclina- 
tion and genius ; and in conformity to his orders he repaired to Ticon- 
deroga, where he remained till the close of the campaign. 

" On January 16th, 1777, the convention of the New Hampshire 
Grants declared the whole district to be a sovereign and independent 
state, to be known and distinguished ever after by the name of Ver- 
mont. The committee of safety in New York were then sitting, and 
on January 20th, they announced the transaction to Congress, com- 
plaining in high terms of the conduct of Vermont, censuring it as a 
dangerous revolt and opposition to lawful authority ; and at the same 
time remonstrating agaihst the proceedings of Congress in appointing 
Warner to the command of a regiment independent of the legislature, 
and within the bounds of that state ; " especially," said they, "as this 



Colonel Warner hatl^een constantly and invariably opposed to the 
legislature of this state, and hath been, on that account, proclaimed 
an outlaw by the late government thereof. It is absolutely necessary 
to recall the commissions given to Colonel Warner and the officers 
under him, as nothing else will do us justice." No measures were 
taken by Congress at that time, either to interfere in the civil con- 
test between the two states, or to remove the colonel from his com- 
mand. Anxious to effect this purpose, the convention of New York 
wrote further on the subject, on March 1st, and among other things 
declared, "that there was not the least probability that Col. Warner 
could raise such a number of men as would be an object of public 
concern." Congress still declined to dismiss so valuable an officer 
from their service. On June 23d, Congress was obliged to take up 
the controversy between New York and Vermont ; but instead of 
proceeding to disband the colonel's regiment, on June 30th, they 
resolved " that the reason which induced Congress to form that corps, 
was, that many officers of different states who had served in Canada, 
and alleged that they could soon raise a regiment, but were then 
unprovided for, might be reinstated in the service of the United 
States." Nothing can give us a more just idea of the sentiments 
which the American Congress entertained of the patriotic and mili- 
tary virtues of the colonel, than their refusing to give him up to the 
repeated solicitations and demands of so respectable and powerful a 
state, as that of New York. 

HE American army stationed at Ticonde- 
roga were forced to abandon that fortress, 
on July 6, 1777, in a very precipitate 
and irregular manner. The colonel with 
his regiment retreated along the western 
part of Vermont, through the towns of 
Orwell, Sudbury, and Hubbardton. At 
the last of these towns the advanced 
corps of the British army overtook the 
rear of the American troops, on the morn- 
ing of the 7th of July. The American 
army, all but part of three regiments, were gone forward ; these were 
part of Hale's, Francis' and Warner's regiments. The enemy 
attacked them with superior numbers, and the highest prospect of 
success. Francis and Warner opposed them with great spirit and 
vigor ; and no officers or troops could have discovered more courage 
and firmness than they displayed through the whole action. Large 
reinforcements of the enemy arriving, it became impossible to make 
any effectual opposition. Francis fell in a most honorable discharge 



of his duty. Hale surrendered with his regiment. Surrounded on 
every side by the enemy, but calm and undaunted, Colonel Warner 
fought his way through all opposition, brought off the troops that 
refused to capitulate with Hale, checked the enemy in their pursuit, 
and contrary to all expectations, arrived isafe with his troops at Man- 
chester. To the northward of that town the whole country was 
deserted. The colonel determined to make a stand at that place ; 
encouraged by his example and firmness, a body of the militia soon 
join.ed him ; and he was once more in a situation to protect the 
inhabitants, harass the enemy, and break up the advanced parties. 

N the 16th of August, the \icinity of 
Bennington became the seat of a memo- 
rable battle. Colonel Baum had been 
despatched by General Burgoyne to 
attack the American troops and destroy 
the magazines at Bennington. General 
Stark, who commanded at that place, 
had intelligence of the approach of the 
enemy, and sent orders on the morning 
of the 16th, to Colonel Warner, at 
Manchester, to march immediately to his assistance. In the mean 
time. Stark with the troops which were assembled at Bennington, 
had attacked the enemy under Colonel Baum, and after a severe 
action had captured the whole body. Just as the action was finished, 
intelligence was received that a large reinforcement of the enemy 
had arrived. Fatigued and exhausted by so long and severe an 
action. Stark was doubtful whether it was possible for his troops to 
enter immediately upon another battle with a fresh body of the 
enemy. At that critical moment Warner arrived with his troops from 
Manchester. Mortified that he had not been in the action, and 
determined to have some part in the glory of the day, he urged 
Stark immediately to commence another action. Stark consented, 
and the colonel instantly led on his men to battle. The Americans 
rallied from every part of the field, and the second action became as 
fierce and decisive as the first. The enemy gave way in every 
direction ; great numbers of them were slain, and the rest saved 
themselves altogether by the darkness of the night. Stark ascribed 
the last victory very much to Colonels Warner and Herrick ; and 
spoke in the highest terms of their superior information and activity, 
as that to which he principally owed his success. The success at 
Bennington gave a decisive turn to the affairs of that campaign. 
Stark, Warner, and the other officers, with their troops, joined the 
army under General Gates. Victory every where followed the 



attempts of the northern army ; and the campaign terminated in the 
surrender of Burgoyne and his whole army, at Saratoga, on October 
17th, 1777. 

The contest in the northern department being in a great measure 
decided by the capture of Burgoyne, Warner had no farther oppor- 
tunity to discover his prowess in defence of his beloved state ; but 
served occasionally at different places on the Hudson river, as the 
circumstances of the war required, and always with reputation. 
Despairing of success in the northern parts, the enemy carried the 
war into the southern states ; and neither New York nor Vermont 
any longer remained the places of distinguished enterprise. But 
such had been the fatigues and exertions of the colonel, that when he 
returned to his family in Bennington, his constitution, naturally firm 
and vigorous, appeared to be worn down, and nature declined under 
a complication of disorders, occasioned by the excessive labors and 
sufferings he had passed through. 

Most of those men who have been engaged with uncommon ardor 
in the cause of their country, have been so swallowed up with the 
patriotic passion, as to neglect that attention to their private interests 
which other men pursue as the ruling passion. Thus it proved with 
Colonel Warner ; intent at first upon saving a state, and afterwards 
upon saving a country, his mind w^as so entirely engaged in those 
pursuits, that he had not made that provision for his family, which 
to most of the politicians and land jobbers was the ultimate end of 
all their measures and exertions. With a view the better to support 
his family, he removed to Woodbury ; where, in the year 1785, he 
ended an active and useful life, in high estimation among his friends 
and countrymen. 

His family had derived little or no estate from his services. After 
his death they applied to the general assembly of Vermont for a grant 
of land. The assembly, with a spirit of justice and generosity, 
remembered the services of Colonel Warner, took up the petition, 
and granted a valuable tract of land to his widow and family ; a 
measure highly honorable to the memory of Colonel Warner and of 
that assembly. ' 


HIS illustrious champion of 
the freedom of man was 
born at the Castle of Cha- 
vaniac, in Auvergne, on the 
6th of September, 1757. 
A few months after his birth his father 
was killed at the battle of Minden. As 
Marquis de La Fayette, he was now at 
the head of one of the most ancient and 
distinguished of the noble families of 
France. He was educated at the college of Louis le Grand, in Paris, 
placed at court, as an officer in one of the guards of honor, and at 
the age of seventeen was married to the grand-daughter of the Duke 




Silas Deane. 

de Noailles. It was under these circumstances that the young 
Marquis de La Fayette entered upon a career so little to be expected 
of a youth of A^ast fortune, of high rank, of powerful connexions, at 
the most brilliant and fascinating court in the world. 

" The self-devotion of La Fayette in the cause of America," says 
Mr. Adams, in his eulogy, " was twofold. First, to the people, 
maintaining a bold and seemingly desperate struggle against oppres- 
sion, and for national existence. Secondly, and chiefly, to the prin- 
ciples of their declaration, which then first unfurled before his eyes 
the consecrated standard of human rights. To that standard, with- 
out an instant of hesitation, he repaired. Where it would lead him, 
it is scarcely probable that he himself then foresaw. It was then 
identical with the stars and stripes of the American union, floating 
to the breeze from the Hall of Independence, at Philadelphia. Nor 
sordid avarice, nor vulgar ambition, could point his footsteps to the 


La Fayette offering his Services to Dr. Franklin. 

pathway leading to that banner. To the love of ease or pleasure 
nothing could be more repulsive. Something may be allowed to the 
beatings of the youthful breast, which make ambition virtue, and 
something to the spirit of military adventure, imbibed from his pro- 
fession, and which he felt in common with many others. France, 
Germany, Poland, furnished to the armies of this union, in our revo- 
lutionary struggle, no inconsiderable number of officers of high rank 
and distinguished merit. The names of Pulaski and I)e Kalb are 
numbered among the martyrs of our freedom, and their ashes repose 
in our soil side by side with the canonized bones of Warren and of 
Montgomery. To the virtues of La Fayette, a more protracted 
career and happier earthly destinies were reserved. To the moral 
principle of political action, the sacrifices of no other man were 
comparable to his. Youth, health, fortune ; the favor of his king ; 
the enjoyment of ease and pleasure ; even the choicest blessings of 
domestic felicity — he gave them all for toil and danger in a distant 
land, and an almost hopeless cause ; but it was the cause of justice, 
and of the rights of human kind. 

The resolve is firmly fixed, and it now remains to be carried into 
execution. On the 7th of December, 1776 Silas Deane, then a 



La Fayette leaving France. 

secret agent of the American Congress at Paris, stipulates with the 
Marquis de La Fayette that he shall receive a commission, to date 
from that date, of major-general in the army of the United States ; 
and the marquis stipulates, in return, to depart when and how Mr, 
Deane shall judge proper, to serve the United States with all possible 
zeal, without pay or emolument, reserving to himself only the liberty 
of returning to Europe, if his family or his king should recall him. 
Neither his family nor his king were wilhng that he should depart; 
nor had Mr. Deane the power, either to conclude this contract, or to 
furnish the means of his conveyance to America. Difficulties rise 
up before him only to be dispersed, and obstacles thicken only to be 
surmounted. The day after the signature of the contract, Mr. 
Deane's agency was superseded by the arrival of Doctor Benjamin 
Franklin and Arthur Lee, as his colleagues in commission ; nor did 
they think themselves authorized to confirm his engagement. La 
Fayette is not to be discouraged. The commissioners extenuate no- 
thing of the unpromising condition of their cause. Mr. Deane avows 
his inability to furnish him with a passage to the United States. 



' The more desperate the cause,' says La Fayette, <the greater need 
has it of my services ; and, if Mr. Deane has no vessel for my pass- 
age, I shall purchase one myself, and w\l\ traverse the ocean with a 
selected company of my own,' 

Other impediments arise. His design becomes known to the Bri- 
tish ambassador at the court of Versailles, who remonstrates to the 
French government against it. At his instance, orders are issued 
for the detention of the vessel purchased by the marquis, and fitted 
out at Bordeaux, and for the arrest of his person. To elude the first 
of these orders, the vessel is removed from Bordeaux to the neigh- 
boring port of passage, within the dominion of Spain. The order 
for his own arrest is executed; but, by stratagem and disguise, he 
escapes from the custody of those who have^him in charge, and, be- 
fore a second order can reach him, he is safe on the ocean wave, 
bound to the land of independence and of freedom. 

It had been necessary to clear out the vessel for an island of the 
West Indies ; but, once at sea, he avails himself of his right as owner 
of the ship, and compels his captain to steer for the shores of eman- 
cipated North America. He lands, with his companions, on the 25th 
of April, 1777, in South Carolina, not far from Charleston, and finds 
a most cordial reception and hospitable welcome in the house of 
Major Huger." 

Immediately on his arrival, La Fayette received the offer of a 
command in the continental army, which he declined, and forthwith 
raised and equipped a body of men at his own expense, and then 
entered the service as a volunteer, without pay. He lived in the 
family of Washington, and soon gained a strong hold in the affec- 
tions of that discriminating judge of character. 

La Fayette was appointed a major-general in July, 1777, and was 
attached to the army at the time when Washington marched to 
Brandywine, with a view to intercept General Howe in his intended 
descent on Philadelphia. In the battle which ensued, La Fayette 
was wounded. Mr. Adams thus eloquently notices La Fayette's par- 
ticipation in this affair. 

" Let us pass in imagination a period of only twenty years, and 
alight upon the borders of the river Brandywine. Washington is 
commander-in-chief of the armies of the United States of America 
— war is again raging in the heart of his native land — hostile armies 
of one and the same name, blood, and language, are arrayed for 
battle on the banks of the stream; and Philadelphia, where the 
United States are in Congress assembled, and whence their decree 
of independence has gone forth, is the destined prize to the conflict 
of the day. Who is that tall, slender youth, of foreign air and 



Lafayette •wotinded at Brandy-wine. 

aspect, scarcely emerged from the years of boyhood, and fresh from 
the walls of a college ; fighting, a volunteer, at the side of Washing- 
ton, bleeding, unconsciously to himself, and rallying his men to 
secure the retreat of the scattered American ranks ? It is Gilbert 
MoTTiER DE La Fayette — the son of the victim of Minden ; and he 
is bleeding in the cause of North American independence, and of 

While associated with Washington as a member of his military 
family at his head-quarters on the Brandywine, and on other occa- 
sions. La Fayette had made still further progress in the esteem of his 
illustrious friend. 

" The merits of La Fayette to the eye of Washington," says Mr. 
Adams, " are the candor and generosity of his disposition — the 
indefatigable industry of application, which, in the course of a few 
months, has already given him the mastery of a foreign language — 
good sense — discretion of manners, an attribute not only unusual in 
early years, but doubly rare in alliance with that enthusiasm so 
signally marked by his self-devotion to the American cause ; and, 
to crown all the rest, the bravery and military ardor so brilliantly 



manifested at the Brandy wine. Here is no random praise : no 
unmeaning panegyric. The cluster of qualities, all plain and simple, 
but so seldom found in union together, so generally incompatible 
with one another, these are the properties eminently trustworthy, in 
the judgment of Washington ; and these are the properties which 
his discernment has fomid in La Fayette, and which urge him thus 
earnestly to advise the gratification of his wish by the assignment ©f 
a command equal to the rank which had been granted to his zeal 
and his illustrious name. 

The recommendation of Washington had its immediate effect ; 
and on the first of December, 1777, it was resolved by Congress, 
that he should be informed it was highly agreeable to Congress, that 
the Marquis de La Fayette should be appointed to the command of a 
division in the continental army. 

He received, accordingly, such an appointment ; and a plan was 
organized in Congress for a second invasion of Canada, at the head 
of which he was placed. This expedition, originally projected with- 
out consultation with the commander-in-chief, might be connected 
with the temporary dissatisfaction, in the community and in Con- 
gress, at the ill success of his endeavors to defend Philadelphia, 
which rival and unfriendly partisans were too ready to compare with 
the splendid termination, by the capture of Burgoyne and his army, 
of the northern campaign, under the command of General Gates. To 
foreclose all suspicion of participation in these views, La Fayette 
proceeded to the seat of Congress, and, accepting the important 
charge which it was proposed to assign to him, obtained, at his par 
ticular request, that he should be considered as an officer detached 
from the army of Washington, and to remain under his orders. He 
then repaired in person to Albany, to take command of the troops 
who were to assemble at that place, in order to cross the lakes on 
the ice, and attack Montreal ; but, on arriving at Albany, he found 
none of the promised preparations in readiness — they were never 
effected. Congress some time after relinquished the design, and the 
Marquis was ordered to rejoin the army of Washington. 

In the succeeding month of May, his military talent was displayed 
by the masterly retreat effected in the presence of an overwhelming 
superiority of the ei\,emy's force from the position at Barren Hill. 

He was soon after distinguished at the battle of Monmouth ; and 
in September, 1778, a resolution of Congress declared their high 
sense of his services, not only in the field, but in his exertions to 
conciliate and heal dissensions between the officers of the French 
fleet under the command of the Count d'Estaing and some of the 
native officers of our army. These dissensions had arisen in the 



La Fayette at Monraouth. 

first moments of co-operation in the service, and had threatened 
pernicious consequences. 

In the month of April, 1776, the combined wisdom of the Count 
de Vergennes and of Mr. Turgot, the prime minister, and the finan- 
cier of Louis the Sixteenth, had brought him to the conclusion that 
the event most desirable to France, with regard to the controversy 
between Great Britain and her American colonies, was, that the 
insurrection should be suppressed. This judgment, evincing only 
the total absence of all moral considerations, in the estimate, by 
these eminent statesmen, of what was desirable to France, had under- 
gone a great change by the close of the year 1777. The declaration 
of independence had changed the question between the parties. The 
popular feeling of France was all on the side of the Americans. The 
daring and romantic movement of La Fayette, in defiance of the 
government itself, then highly favored by public opinion, was fol- 
fowed by universal admiration. The spontaneous spirit of the people 
gradually spread itself even over the rank corruption of the court ; 
a suspicious and deceptive neutrality succeeded to an ostensible 
exclusion of the insurgents from the ports of France, till the capitu- 
lation of Burgoyne satisfied the casuists of international law at 
Veiflsailles, that the suppression of the insurrection was no longer the 
most desirable of events ; but that the United States were, de facto, 
sovereign and independent, and that France might conclude a treaty 
of commerce with them, without giving just cause of offence to the 
step-mother country. On the 9th of February, 1778, a treaty of com- 
merce between France and the United States was concluded, and with 
it, on the same day, a treaty of eventual defensive alliance, to take 
effect only in the event of Great Britain's resenting, b)^ war against 
France, the consummation of the commercial treaty. The war 



Conclusion of tlie Treatywitli France. 

immeaiately ensued, and in the summer of 1778, a French fleet, 
under the command of Count d'Estaing, was sent to co-operate with 
the forces of the United States for the maintenance of their inde- 

By these events the position of the Marquis de La Fayette was 
essentially changed. It became necessary for him to reinstate him- 
self in the good graces of his sovereign, offended at his absenting 
himself from his country without permission, but gratified with the 
distinction which he had acquired by gallant deeds in a service now 
become that of France herself. At the close of the campaign of 
1778, with the approbation of his friend and patron, the commander- 
in-chief, he addressed a letter to the president of Congress, repre- 
senting his then present circumstances with the confidence of affection 
and gratitude, observing that the sentiments which bound him to his 
country could never be more properly spoken of than in the presence 
of men who had done so much for their own. " As long," continued 
he, " as I thought I could dispose of myself, I made it my pride and 
pleasure to fight under American colors, in defence of a cause which 
I dare more particularly call ours, because I had the good fortune of 
bleeding for her. Now, sir, that France is involved in a war, I am 
arged, by a sense of my duty, as well as by the love of my country, 
to present myself before the king, and know in what manner he 




judges proper to employ my services. The most agreeable of all 
will always be such as may enable me to serve the common cause 
among those whose friendship I had the happiness to obtain, and 
whose fortune I had the honor to follow in less smiling times. That 
reason, and others, which I leave to the feelings of Congress, engage 
me to beg from them the liberty of going home for the next winter. 

*' As long as there were any hopes of an active campaign, T did 
not think of leaving the field ; now, that I see a very peaceable and 
undisturbed moment, I take this opportunity of waiting on Con- 

In the remainder of the letter he solicited that, in the event of his 
request being granted, he might be considered as a soldier on fur- 
lough, heartily wishing to regain his colors and his esteemed and 
beloved fellow-soldiers. And he closes with a tender of any ser- 
vices which he might be enabled to render to the American cause in 
his own country. 

On the receipt of this letter, accompanied by one from General 
Washington, recommending to Congress, in terms most honorable to 
.the Marquis, a compliance with his request, that body immediately 
passed resolutions granting him an unlimited leave of absence, with 
permission to return to the United States at his own most convenient 
time ; that the president of Congress should write him a letter re- 
turning him the thanks of Congress for that disinterested zeal which 
had led him to America, and for the services he had rendered to the 
United States by the exertion of his courage and abilities on many 
signal occasions ; and that the minister plenipotentiary of the United 
States at the court of Versailles should be directed to cause an ele- 
gant sword, with proper devices, to be made, and presented to him 
in the name of the United States. These resolutions were commu- 
nicated to him in a letter expressive of the sensibihty congenial to 
them, from the president of Congress, Henry Laurens. 

He embarked in January, 177 9, in the frigate Alliance, at Boston, 
and on the succeeding 12th day of February, presented himself at 
Versailles. Twelve months had already elapsed since the conclusion 
of the treaties of commerce and of eventual alliance betwe,en France 
and the United States. They had, during the greater part of that 
time, been deeply engaged in war with a common cause against 
Great Britain, and it was the cause in which La Fayette had been 
shedding his blood ; yet, instead of receiving him with open arms, 
as the pride and ornament of his country, a cold and hollow-hearted 
order was issued to him, not to present himself at court, but to con- 
sider himself under arrest, with permission to receive visits only from 
his relations. This ostensible mark of the royal displeasure was to 



Henry Latireiis, 

last eight days, and La Fayette manifested his sense of it only by a 
letter to the Count de Vergennes, inquiring whether the interdiction 
upon him to receive visits was to be considered as extending to that 
of Doctor Franklin. The sentiment of universal admiration which 
had followed him at his first departure, greatly increased by his 
splendid career of service during the two years of his absence, 
indemnified him for the indignity of the courtly rebuke. 

He remained in France through the year 1779, and returned to 
the scene of action early in the ensuing year. He continued in the 
French service, and was appointed to command the king's own regi- 
ment of dragoons, stationed during the year in various parts of the 
kingdom, and holding an incessant correspondence with the ministers 
of foreign affairs, and of war, urging the employment of a land and 
naval force in aid of the American cause, " The Marquis de La 
Fayette," says Doctor Franklin, in a letter of the 4th of March, 
1780, to the president of Congress, "who, during his residence in 
France, has been extremely zealous in supporting our cause on all 
occasions, returns again to fight for it. He is infinitely esteemed and 
beloved here, and I am persuaded will do everything in his power to 
merit a continuance of the same affection from America." 

Immediately after his arrival in the United States, it was, on the 
16th of May, 1780, resolved in Congress, that they considered his 
return to America to resume his command, as a fresh proof of the 
disinterested zeal and persevering attachment which have justly 



recommended him to the public confidence and applause, and that 
they received with pleasure a tender of the further services of so 
gallant and meritorious an officer. 

From this time until the termination of the campaign of 1781, 
by the surrender of Lord Cornv^^allis and his army at Yorktown, 
his service was of incessant activity, always signalized by military 
talents unsurpassed, and by a spirit never to be subdued. At the 
time of the treason of Arnold, La Fayette was accompanying his 
commander-in-chief to an important conference and consultation 
with the French general, Rochambeau ; and then, as in every stage 
of the war, it seemed as if the position which he occupied, his per- 
sonal character, his individual relations with Washington, with the 
officers of both the allied armies, and with the armies themselves, 
had been specially ordered to promote and secure that harmony and 
mutual good understanding indispensable to the ultimate success of 
the common cause. His position, too, as a foreigner by birth, a 
European, a volunteer in the American service, and a person of high 
rank in his native country, pointed him out as peculiarly suited to 
the painful duty of deciding upon the character of the crime, and 
upon the fate of the British officer, the accomplice and victim of the 
detested traitor, Arnold. 

In the early part of the campaign of 178 1, when Cornwallis, with 
an overwhelming force, was spreading ruin and devastation over the 
southern portion of the Union, we find La Fayette, with means 
altogether inadequate, charged with the defence of the territory of 
Virginia. Always equal to the emergencies in which circumstances 
placed him, his expedients for encountering and surmounting the 
obstacles which they cast in his way are invariably stamped with the 
peculiarities of his character. The troops placed under his command 
for the defence of Virginia, were chiefly taken from the eastern regi- 
ments, unseasoned to the climate of the south, and prejudiced against 
it as unfavorable to the health of the natives of the more rigorous 
regions of the north. Desertions became frequent, till they threatened 
the very dissolution of the corps. Instead of resorting to military 
execution to retain his men, he appeals to the sympathies of honor. 
He states, in general orders, the great danger and difficulty of the 
enterprise upon whi",}! he is about to embark ; represents the only 
possibility by which it can promise success, the faithful adherence 
of the soldiers to their chief, and his confidence that they will not 
abandon him. He then adds, that if, however, any individual of the 
detachment was unwilling to follow him, a passport to return to his 
home should be forthwith granted him upon his application. It is 
to a cause like that of American independence that resources like 



this are congenial. After these general orders, nothing more was 
heard of desertion. The very cripples of the army preferred, paying 
for their own transportation, to follow the corps, rather than to 
ask for the dismission which had been made so easily accessible to 

But how shall the deficiencies of the military chest be supplied ? 
The want of money was heavily pressing upon the service in every 
direction. Where are the sinews of war? How are the troops to 
march without shoes, linen, clothing of all descriptions, and other 
necessaries of life ? La Fayette has found them all. From the 
patriotic merchants of Baltimore he obtains, on the pledge of his 
own personal credit, a loan of money, adequate to the purchase of 
the materials ; and from the fair hands of the daughters of the monu- 
mental city, even then worthy so to be called, he obtains the toil of 
making up the needed garments. 

La Fayette, a youth of twenty-two, was now destined to be opposed 
in strategy to the accomplished veteran general. Earl Cornwallis. 
Undervaluing the talents and resources of his young opponent, the 
earl incautiously wrote to Europe, in a letter which was intercepted, 
" the hoy cannot escape we." But the British general reckoned with- 
out his host. 

On being informed that General Philips, in returning up the river, 
had landed at Brandon on the southern bank, and that Cornwallis 
was marching northward, La Fayette perceived that a junction of 
their forces was intended ; and suspecting that Petersburgh was the 
appointed place of meeting, he endeavored to anticipate them in the 
occupation of that town. But the march of General Philips was 
so rapid that he entered it before him, and frustrated his design. 
La Fayette, with ^his little army, consisting of one thousand conti- 
nentals, two thousand militia, and sixty dragoons, took a position at 
Richmond, and exerted himself in removing the military stores to 
places of greater security. 

On the 24th of May, Cornwallis left Petersburgh, crossed James 
river at Westover, thirty miles below La Fayette's encampment, and, 
being joined by a reinforcement from New York, marched at the 
head of upwards of four thousand veterans towards Richmond. But 
La Fayette evacuated that town on the 27th, and retired towards the 
back country ; inclining his march towards the north, so that he 
might easily form a junction with General Wayne, who w^as hasten- 
ing to reinforce him with eight hundred men of the Pennsylvania 
line. Cornwallis eagerly pursued his retreating foe as far as the 
upper part of Hanover county ; but finding it impossible to overtake 
La Fayette, or to prevent his junction with General Wayne, he at 



length altered the course of his march, and turned his thoughts to 
more attainable objects. 

In Virginia the British committed fearful devastations, and de- 
stroyed much valuable property ; but Cornwallis, though at the head 
of a superior army, gained no important advantage over his opponent. 
He had pushed La Fayette across the Rappahannock, but was unable 
to prevent his junction with General Wayne, which was. accomplished 
at Racoon ford on the 7th of June. La Fayette, thus reinforced 
immediately repassed the Rappahannock, and advanced towards the 
British army. 

In the course of those movements Cornwallis had got completely 
between the marquis and the stores of the state, which were deposited 
at different places, but principally at Albemarle Old Court-house 
high up the Fluvanna, on the south side of the river. Those stores 
were an object of importance to both armies ; and, early in June, the 
British commander, after having dispensed with the services of 
Arnold, and allowed him to return to New York, directed his march 
to Albemarle Court-house. La Fayette was anxious to preserve his 
magazines ; and, while the British army was more than a day's march 
from Albemarle Court-house, by a rapid and unexpected movement 
he suddenly appeared in its vicinity. The British general easily 
penetrated his design ; and, being between him and his magazines, 
took a position near the road, so that he could attack him with 
advantage if he attempted to advance. During the night, however. 
La Fayette discovered and cleared a nearer but long disused road, 
and passed the British army unobserved ; and, in the morning, 
Cornwallis, with surprise and mortification, saw his adversary strongly 
posted between him and the stores. 

Perceiving that the Americans could not be attacked unless under 
great disadvantages, and believing their force greater than it really 
was, Cornwallis abandoned his enterprise and began a retrograde 
movement, and, in two night marches, fell back upwards of fifty 
miles. On the 17th of June he entered Richmond, but left on the 
20th, and continued his route to Williamsburgh, W'here the main 
body of his army arrived on the 25th. 

The American army followed him at a cautious distance. On the 
19th, La Fayette was joined by Baron Steuben with his detachment, 
which increased the American army to four thousand men; of whom 
two thousand were regulars, but only fifteen hundred were disciplined 
troops. That of Cornwallis appears to have been somewhat more 
numerous, and consisted entirely of veterans : it was also provided 
with a well-mounted body of calvary, which had spread terror and 
devastation over the country, and greatly intimidated the militia. 



Though La Fayette kept about twenty miles behind the main Dody 
of the British army, yet his light parties hung on its rear, and skir- 
mishes occasionally ensued. A sharp encounter happened near 
Williamsburgh between the advanced guard of the Americans, under 
Colonel Butler, and the rear guard of the British under Colonel 
Simcoe, in which both suffered considerable loss. Part of the 
British army marched to Colonel Simcoe's assistance, and the 
Americans were obliged to retreat. Although La Fayette encouraged 
skirmishes and partial conflicts, yet, distrusting his new levies and 
militia, he cautiously avoided a general battle. While the British 
army remained at Williamsburgh, the Americans occupied a strong 
encampment twenty miles from that place." 

Our limits will not permit us to follow the subsequent operations 
of La Fayette in Virginia. The result was that Cornwallis was 
finally driven into Yorktown and besieged by the combined armies 
of France and the United States under Count Rochambeau and 
General Washington. One exploit of La Fayette at the siege, 
however, must not be passed over. 

" On the night of the 1 1th of October, 1781, the besiegers, laboring 
W'ith indefatigable perseverance, began their second parallel, three 
hundred yards nearer the British works than the first ; and the three 
succeeding days were assiduously employed in completing it. During 
that interval the fire of the garrison was more destructive than at any 
other period of the siege. The men in the trenches were particularly 
annoyed by two redoubts towards the left of the British works, and 
about two hutidred yards in front of them. Of these it was neces- 
sary to gain possession; and on the 14th preparations were made 
to carry them both by storm. In order to avail himself of the spirit 
of emulation which existed between the troops of the two nations, 
and to avoid any cause of jealousy to either, the attack of the one 
redoubt was committed to the French ; and that of the other to the 
Americans. The latter were commanded by the Marquis de La 
Fayette ; and the former by the Baron de Viominel. 

On the evening of the 14th, as soon as it was dark, the parties 
marched to the assault with unloaded arms. The redoubt which the 
Americans attacked was defended by a major, some inferior officers, 
and forty-five privates. The assailants advanced with such rapidity 
without returning a shot to the heavy fire with which they were 
received, that in a few mmutes they were m possession of the work, 
having had eight men killed, and twenty-eight wounded in the 
attack. Eight British privates were killed ; the major, a captain, 
an ensign, and seventeen privates were made prisoners. The rest 
escaped. Although the Americans were highly exasperated by the 



La Fayette si u 


recent massacre of their countrymen in Fort Griswold by Arnold's 
detachment, yet not a man of the British was injured after resistance 
ceased. Retaliation had been talked of, but was not exercised. 

The French party advanced wdth equal courage and rapidity, and 
were successful ; but as the fortification which they attacked was 
occupied by a greater force, the defence was more vigorous, and the 
loss of the assailants more severe. There were one hundred and 
twenty men in the redoubt ; of whom eighteen were killed, and forty- 
two taken prisoners; the rest made their escape. The French lost 
nearly one hundred men killed or wounded. During the night these 
two redoubts were included in the second parallel ; and, in the course 
of next day, some howitzers were placed on them, which in the after- 
noon opened on the besieged. 

Earl Cornwallis and his garrison had done all that brave men could 
do to defend their post. But the industry of the besiegers was per- 
severing, and their approaches rapid. The condition of the British 
was becoming desperate. In every quarter their works were torn to 
pieces by the fire of the assailants. The batteries already playing 
upon them had nearly silenced all their guns ; and the second paral- 
lel was about to open on them, which in a few hours would render 
the place untenable. His attempt to escape by crossing the river on 
the 1 6th was unsuccessful. 

At ten in the forenoon of the 17th, Earl Cornwallis sent out a flag 
of truce, with a letter to General Washington, proposing a cessation 
of hostilities for twenty-four hours, in order to give time to adjust 
terms for the surrender of the forts at Yorktown and Gloucester 
Point. To this letter the American general immediately returned 
an answer, expressing his ardent desire to spare the further effusion 
of blood, and his readiness to listen to such terms as were admis- 



Moore's House at Yorktown. 

sible ; but that he could not consent to lose time in fruitless negotia- 
tions, and desired that, previous to the meeting of commissioners, 
his Icfrdship's proposals should be transmitted in writing, for which 
purpose a suspension of hostilities for two hours should be granted. 
The terras offered by Lord Cornwallis, although not all deemed 
admissible, were such as induced the opinion that no great difficulty 
would occur in adjusting the conditions of capitulation ; and the 
suspension of hostilities was continued through the night. Mean- 
while, in order to avoid the delay of useless discussion. General 
Washington drew up and transmitted to Earl Cornwallis such 
articles as he was willing to grant, informing his lordship that, if he 
approved of them, commissioners might be immediately appointed to 
reduce them to form. Accordingly, Viscount Noailles and Lieu- 
tenant-colonel Laurens, whose father was then a prisoner in the 
Tower of London, on the 18th met Colonel Dundas and Major Ross 
of the British army at Moore's house, in the rear of the first paral- 
lel. They prepared a rough draught, but were unable definitively to 
arrange the terms of capitulation. The draught was to be submitted 
to Earl Cornwallis : but General Washington, resolved to admit of 
no delay, directed the articles to be transcribed ; and, on the morning 
of the 19th, sent them to his lordship, with a letter expressing his 
expectation that they would be signed by eleven, and that the garri- 
son would march out at two in the afternoon. Finding that no better 
terms could be obtained. Earl Cornwallis submitted to a painful 
necessity; and, on the 19th of October, surrendered the posts of 
Yorktown and Gloucester Point to the combined armies of America 



and France, on condition that his troops snould receive the same 
honors of war which had been granted to the garrison of Charlestown, 
when it surrendered to Sir Henry Clinton. The army, artillery, 
arms, accoutrements, military chest, and public stores of every 
description, were surrendered to General Washington ; the ships in 
the harbor and the seamen to Count de Grasse. 

This was the last vital struggle of the war, which, however, lin- 
gered through another year rather of negotiation than of action. 
Immediately after the capitulation at Yorktown, La Fayette asked 
and obtained again a leave of absence to visit his family and his 
country, and with this closed his military service in the field, during 
the revolutionary war. But it was not for the individual enjoyment 
of his renown that he returned to France. The resolutions of Con- 
gress accompanying that which gave him a discretionary leave of 
absence, while honorary in the highest degree to him, were equally 
marked by a grant of virtual credentials for negotiation, and by the 
trust of confidential powers, together with a letter of the warmest 
commendation of the gallant soldier to the favor of his king. The 
ensuing year was consumed in preparations for a formidable combined 
French and Spanish expedition against the British Islands in the 
West Indies, and particularly the Island of Jamaica ; thence to 
recoil upon New York, and to pursue the offensive war into Canada. 
The fleet destined for this gigantic undertaking was already assem- 
bled at Cadiz ; and La Fayette, appointed the chief of the staff, was 
there ready to embark upon this perilous adventure, when, on the 
30th of November, 1782, the preliminary treaties of peace were 
concluded between his Britannic Majesty on one part, and the allied 
powers of France, Spain, and the United States of America, on the 
other. The first intelligence of this event received by the American 
Congress was in the communication of a letter from La Fayette. 

The importance of his services in France may be seen by consult- 
ing his letters in the Correspondence of the American Revolution, 
(Boston, 1831.) 

La Fayette now received pressing invitations to revisit this country. 
Washington, in particular, urged it strongly ; and for the third time 
he landed in the United States, August 4, 1784. On his arrival, he 
was received with all the warmth of old friendship by General Wash- 
ington, at Mount Vernon. 

He subsequently visited Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York, Bos- 
ton and the other principal places in the country, and was everywhere 
received with the greatest enthusiasm and delight. 

Previous to his return to France, Congress appointed a deputation, 
consisting of one member from each state, " to take leave of him 



Mount Vernon. 

on behalf of the country," and assure him " that these United States 
regard him with particular affection, and will not cease to feel an 
interest in whatever may concern his honor and prosperity." 

He returned to France, and arrived at Paris on the 25th of January, 

He continued to take a deep interest in the concerns of the United 
States, and exerted his influence with the French government to 
obtain reductions of duties favorable to their commerce and fisheries. 
In the summer of 1786, he visited several of the German courts, 
and attended the last great review by Frederick the Second of his 
veteran army — a review unusually splendid, and specially remarkable 
by the attendance of many of the most distinguished military com- 
manders of Europe. In the same year the legislature of Virginia 
manifested the continued recollection of his services rendered to the 
people of that commonwealth, by a complimentary token of gratitude 
not less honorable than it was unusual. They resolved that two 
busts of La Fayette, to be executed by the celebrated sculptor, 
Houdon, should be procured at their expense ; that one of them 
should be placed in their own legislative hall, and the other pre- 
sented, in their name, to the municipal authorities of the city of 
Paris. It was accordingly presented by Mr. Jefferson, then minister 
plenipotentiary of the United States in France, and, by the permis- 
sion of Louis the Sixteenth, was accepted, and, with appropriate 
solemnity, placed in one .of the halls of the Hotel de Ville of the 
metropolis of France. 

After his return to his native country, La Fayette was engaged in 



Frederick the Great. 

endeavoring to mitigate the condition of the Protestants in France, 
and to effect the abolition of slavery. In the assembly of the nota- 
bles, in. 1787, he proposed the suppression of lettres de cachet, and 
of the state-prisons, the emancipation of the Protestants, and the 
convocation of the representatives of that nation. When asked by